Equally indebted to folk, country, alt-rock and jazz, This Honest Age hides its influences well enough to be just a straight-up pop album. Not a bad thing, really, since it has enough passion and soul to fill the void left by such artists as Jewel (pre-slutty-dance-sellout phase) and Fiona Apple. It's not a far cry from the Sarah McLachlan camp of singers who have something to sell besides their looks, and even has a hint of the Dido sound that gets you a spot at Live 8. Woodhouse exudes an inherent honesty, yet as talented as she is, a smart singer/songwriter with something to say is usually a tough sell in any climate.
Jen Woodhouse plays the Free Times tonight (Thursday, July 21).