Rhythm of the Rain Review in "Country Standard Time" by Lee Zimmerman

At this point in her career, Amelia White could be considered one of the preeminent voices in the Americana world. Both an assured singer and superior songwriter, the music she makes comes across like the stuff of standards, even on first hearing. For those unawares, it ought to be known that White's recorded several exceptional albums. Nevertheless, "Rhythm of the Rain" ranks as one of her best, a compelling collection that boasts everything necessary to elevate her profile and bring her the wider recognition that's so clearly her due.

If nothing else, the new album offers all the evidence needed that she ranks mention as one of today's most expressive chanteuses, a torch singer whose individual acumen and sultry, sensual delivery is at once compelling, captivating and thoroughly convincing. Her emotional investment in the material is obvious in every note and nuance, from the rollicking and robust "Little Cloud Over Little Rock" and "True or Not" to the seductive strains of songs such as "Sugar Baby " and "How It Feels," and when she opts for a beautiful ballad like "Said It Like a King," a lovely co-write with Lori McKenna, or the sweetly serene title track and "Mother of Mine," there's no mistaking her conviction and commitment.

Likewise, the aptly named "How It Feels" comes across as nothing less than a veritable tour-de-force, a song that effectively sums up the sentiment inherent in the album overall.

Suffice it to say that White has made her masterpiece, an effort that can effectively serve as the cornerstone of her career. Every track is superior, and more important, an astute example of both her talent and tenacity. Indeed "Rhythm of the Rain" offers a decidedly desirable tempo anyone can be happy to sway with.

Lee Zimmerman is a freelance writer and author based in Maryville, Tenn. He also expounds on music on his web site, Stories Beyond the Music - Americana Music Reviews, Interviews & Articles. His new book -- Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries and Pioneers of an Honest SOund is available from Texas A&M University Publishing.