Note: This review previously appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 2005.
At times on her second CD, The Enemy Of Love, Annie Hayden sounds like a singer-songwriter modeled after ‘70s artists like Jackson Browne and Carly Simon. She even weaves bits of Graham Nash’s “Our House” into “Your Carnival,” an amiable, piano-based tune. “Cara Mia” mixes guitars and percussion while “Gray,” a touching look at relationships, finds the singer taking a more delicate approach.
“Weather” and “Money Trouble” find Hayden successfully tapping into country rock, while “Hip Hurray” and “Wait For Returns” are light jazz numbers that call to mind Norah Jones. Although Hayden’s bio boasts that she’s “moved beyond” her former band Spent, the best songs here convey an indie spirit. “Anytime” and “Boos” have darker, more cutting edge arrangements, and there’s a cool cover of The Replacements’ “Swingin Party.” Maybe Hayden shouldn’t be so eager to shed her rock and roll roots.