Description of Second Skin by Ashley Cleveland
The release includes take-no-prisoner rockers, sweet pop tunes, soulful ballads, and slow-burning blues songs, plus splendid hybrids of them all. Her voice is smooth, strong, and incredibly expressive, adaptable to a wide array of song styles. She might remind you of Melissa Etheridge on one song, Bonnie Raitt on another, and Sheryl Crow on the next, but mostly she'll just remind you of herself. Cleveland smartly retools Hiatt's "Riding with the King" in a manner that implicitly replaces its original subject--Elvis--with Jesus Christ, while her covers of Tom Waits and Neil Young are irresistibly straightforward. Her own songs, especially "Wired" and "Don't Let Me Fall," reveal grace, humility, and courage.