When You Grow Up
It’s not easy to encapsulate most of a young woman’s life experience in one album, but that seems to be what Priscilla Ahn set out to do on When You Grow Up. On top of her amazing vocals, she tells stories that I found easy to relate to. Starting out with the first track, which the album derives its name from, Ahn ask her listeners what they wanted to be when they were younger. The following tracks address choosing one’s life path, lusty relationships, awful breakups and finally finding someone you want to spend your life with.
Ahn’s voice is versatile: sweet and strong, breathy and loud. Sometimes she reminds me of Jewel, with those strong lungs able to hold notes on high and low. In the last track, a lengthy tune called “Torch Song,” the lyrics and the vocals are the kind that could be found on a Sarah McLaughlin album.
Much of the album is infused with a confidence that she seems determined to pass on to her fans. Between the tracks “I Will Get Over You” and “Elf Song,” wherein she sings of an elf who is too tall and too different and the moon who insists that the elf is beautiful – I felt pretty empowered after a couple of listens.
There’s also humor sneaking around the songs, like in “I Don’t Have Time to Be in Love” (it turns out even if she doesn’t, she is anyway) or in “Oo La La” (which follows a woman just going where life takes her). Ahn really didn’t leave anything out with When You Grow Up. Life isn’t just a series of beautiful moments of broken and mended hearts, or revisiting your old house or friends, but those times are the ones worthy of songs. And Ahn is worthy to sing of them.
More by this writer:
The Bell - Great Heat
Brontosaurus - Cold Comes to Claim
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library - Volume One
Fan Modine - Gratitude for the Shipper