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After two fairly straight-ahead (and platinum-selling) rock records, Amanda Marshall lets down her not inconsiderable hair on
Everybody's Got a Story. Working with producer Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt), songwriter Billy Mann, and young beat-master Molecules, the Toronto-raised Marshall has come up with a groove-oriented pop record combining acoustic guitar, hip-hop beats, strings, and the true star of the show--the singer's own multi-octave, Joplin-esque voice. At times the new, more boho clothes fit--the title track is ideal radio fodder, the party tune "Sunday Morning After" is a hoot, and "Red Magic Marker" is hooky pop. At other times the combination sounds forced and synthetic, especially when in service to uninspired melodies like those of "The Gypsy," "Brand New Beau," and "The Voice Inside." The biggest surprise may be "Marry Me," a soft ballad written by Marshall with her bassist and paramour Rob Misener. More than any other track, "Marry Me" demonstrates the singer has learned to tone down her often overpowering vocals when necessary--making
her story a lot more interesting.