Black Licorice

It's been five years since singer/songwriter Julienne Dweck's debut album, On Paper, and her long-awaited follow up, Black Licorice, is a relationship-centric feast for the ears. It's whimsical and adventurous one minute (get a load of the fun, percussive, big band-meets-pop sound of “The Sea”), and subdued and serious the next (the palpable emotional tension of “Uncomfortable”). Dweck knows how to get and hold your attention. A cornucopia of musical styles is explored via Dweck's admirable work on keys and her throaty, occasionally sing-songy vocals. “Nearly”—a subdued, insightful track that ponders a relationship that nearly was and lingers on the many related events that could have been—stands as the album's highlight, providing a probing, eloquent narrative over a slow, driving piano track. Black Licorice is a lively, eclectic musical experience; here's hoping Dweck doesn't keep us waiting another five years for the next one.