From: Indie Music [url]
Date: July 12, 2008

Artist: Terami Hirsch

CD: A Broke Machine

Home: Los Angeles, California

Style: Pop/Rock

Quote: "Like that steady metronome at the center of her very being, Terami Hirsch is revealed to be unprotected, yet vigilant in the face of life."

By Dan MacIntosh

Terami Hirsch titles her new CD A Broke Machine, and while the machine in question may in fact be her very own heart, none of this lady’s musical faculties received any collateral damage at all during the lyrically suggested emotional firefight. She is confident and coherent throughout this 13-song release. Although the moving parts are all in tip-top shape, trying to figure out what these pieces add up to is a whole other story. In fact, she may be a musical genre all to herself.

Hirsch likes to take keyboard-based songs, not unlike the sort Tori Amos has made a career out of creating, and then spice these tracks up a bit with dance music programming. Hirsch shares Amos’ love of keyboards, but she is not the angry sort – at least not overtly so. She may be the hold-it-in-then-explode-kind for all we know. Yet no volcanic eruptions take place during this set.

One of the most beautifully confusing songs here is “What I Didn’t See," which begins with skittering drums before switching to a near-big band arrangement; albeit without jazz’s big horns. Its lyric speaks of being blindsided by circumstances. “What I didn’t see coming,” Hirsch admits, “still came.” The drum pattern, which begins like a dance club beat, turns into a swinging groove toward the end. When Hirsch is in this faux-jazz mode, she brings Norah Jones to mind. But Jones, who also has a bit of simple country in her, doesn’t strike one as being a complicated chick. Hirsch, however, is one difficult to fathom female, which may explain all the constantly changing aural elements in her songs.

It should also be noted that just because Hirsch likes to experiment with musical formulas, does not mean she doesn’t have natural talent. “Diagram of Love” offers a prime example of Hirsch’s strong singing voice. It brings out the passion of a diva, while all the while rolling to a subtle musical backing.

During the CD’s title track, Hirsch sings, “If there is a cure for this I don’t want to know," echoing, ironically enough, Diana Ross’ words on “Love Hangover." Featuring lovely cello and piano, Hirsch bares here broken heart and soul. She admits, “My heart is a broke machine,” because the human heart is not a precise instrument. It is flesh and blood and vulnerable. And like that steady metronome at the center of her very being, Terami Hirsch is revealed to be unprotected, yet vigilant in the face of life.