Missy Higgins - The Sound of White (2004)
This was Missy Higgins' debut album and it reached No. 1 on her native Australia's album charts. I point this out because I do not want to make this sound like The Sound of White is Higgins' only good album because that would be false. Her first three full-length records are all fantastic. But The Sound of White stands out because Higgins produced a mature record as if she had been making studio albums for 10 years.
She is in full command of what her sound should be. She borrows from folk, jazz, and rock, but finds her own mellow niche. Her melodies are brilliant and often tender, but she rarely hits a bad note. She also understands how to augment the beauty within each track by creating some amazing bridges.
One song on the album, "All for Believing," was written when Higgins was still in high school. The song also won a competition for unsigned recording artists and Higgins was offered several after the competition. She signed with Eleven. "All for Believing" is a good song, but far from the best on the record.
The true winners are "The Special Two," "Scar," and "They Weren't There." All the tracks on the record, however, are tinged with a little darkness, but stunningly bold in the open emotion. Higgins also finds a way to make you feel as if the world is going to be fine. For such a young artist at the time, she had a worldly wisdom we all get to share in.