[image-4]Published October 09, 2008.
Jill Barber could have lived in another era. Chances is chock full of sweeping orchestral arrangements (provided by a 10-piece string section) and Barber's trademark romanticism. Producer and long-time cohort Les Cooper has pulled out all the stops. From The Good Lovelies' ethereal harmonies on opening track "Chances," to a nostalgic waltz/duet with Ron Sexsmith dubbed "Old Flame," Barber has mastered the perfect love song, but it's an ode to her own incurable lovesickness on "Oh My My" that shows immeasurable artistic growth. The old-time roots track is akin to the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
"Be My Man" is an earnest testament to love. The sultry clarinet opening on "Wishing Well" sets a darker tone, as Barber dips into the depths of her soul and questions the breadth of inspiration and loss with a killer dramatic string arrangement held by a constant tapping. She quickly falls back into her storybook-love narrative with "Never Quit Loving You," featuring Vancouver gospel trio The Sourjourners. "Leaving You" is reminiscent of her earlier smoky folk material---2006's For All Timeand 2004's Oh, Heart. Recorded at Blue Rodeo's Woodshed Studios in Toronto, Chances closes with "One More Time," a piano-driven ballad that plays the heartstrings of all lovelorn lovers.