Hard To Love
On "HARD TO LOVE", Parker travels from the Memphis-style soul of “Envy” to the New Orleans-flavored “Ray.” The eminently danceable “Dizzy” inspires images of Motown’s Temptations and Four Tops dancing their signature choreography. The darkly simmering soul-blues ballad “Jigsaw Heart” finds Parker pondering where a rocky relationship is going. Singing with ever-present conviction, Parker asks more tough questions in “Who What When Where Why.” Despite being an ultimatum to a lover, the Stax-meets-Motown throw-down is another of the album’s infectious dance tunes. Parker hits more targets with the primal, Robert Johnson-based “Take My Heart and Run” and Chuck Berry-inspired rock and roll of “What Happened to Me.” More revelations appear in the album’s title song, “Hard to Love.” Turning from roots music, Parker exploits her voice’s beauty and range most of all in the piano-accompanied title track -- a song in the melodic vein of the great American songbook. No matter what she's singing -- Joyann Parker's songs have an emotional honesty.