10 of the best Female Singer-Songwriter Albums

by Jeff Penczak
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While the singer/songwriter phenomenon may have peaked in the 70s, wonderful artists continue to hone their craft as they explore introspective, personal recollections and emotions. The songs are often autobiographical and sometimes painfully honest, and the performers are typically supported by friends and/or studio musicians. While much attention is focused on male artists such as Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Jackson Brown, James Taylor, Neil Young, Mark Kozelek, et. al., the female perspective deserves its time in the limelight as well. Here are ten of the best. Click an album below to read a review

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Joni is a genius. Carol King too. And I love Sandy Denny. Judy Sill is really underappreciated for sure. Good to see them get some recognition but don't think you even scratch the surface. And what on earth is Taylor Swift doing on here? She's...

Joni is a genius. Carol King too. And I love Sandy Denny. Judy Sill is really underappreciated for sure. Good to see them get some recognition but don't think you even scratch the surface. And what on earth is Taylor Swift doing on here? She's not even remotely in the same league as the others and several of her hits were written by others. Where is Lucinda Williams? She's genius! And while she's also an interpreter of songs, I'd say Nina Simone's written some pretty amazing originals in her day. Are the prolific likes of Dolly Parton and Bobbie Gentry too Country? Francoise Hardy too French? PJ Harvey and Nico too edgy? Kate Bush too out there? Hope Sandoval? Neko Case? Or on the more obscure side, Vashti Bunyan? Just to name a few off the top of my head...Have you heard Charlotte Cornfield or Caroline Rose?

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Comment was last edited about 3 months ago by Kevin Orton Kevin Orton
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Thanks, Kevin. Good feedback. Good thing I listed "10 OF THE best albums" and not necessarily "the TEN BEST singers". Some of your comments seem to attacking the singer, not the song But to take your suggestions one at a time: Taylor Swift has...

Thanks, Kevin. Good feedback. Good thing I listed "10 OF THE best albums" and not necessarily "the TEN BEST singers". Some of your comments seem to attacking the singer, not the song But to take your suggestions one at a time: Taylor Swift has written some of the best pop songs of the last decade and wrote all the songs on the album selected. AllMusic also gave it 5/5 stars, but the program preselects what it links to and won't let me link to that review. So I am not alone in my opinion of the album selected. Lucinda, Bobbie, and Dolly are outside my areas of expertise, so, yeah: "too Country". Francoise is an excellent choice and I would have included her, except this is a list of "albums" and like Janis Ian, Francoise's best material was at the beginning of her career and was only released on EPs, not albums. Nina, as you say, is an interpreter not a songwriter; PJ is unlistenable, Nico might have made #10, but her best album (Chelsea Girls) is mostly covers; Bush is too boring; Sandoval doesn't release solo albums (see Steve's comment); Vashti was bubbling under (as was Sharron Krauss and several others) and your other suggestions I've not heard of. Guess it's time for your list now

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I'd make an argument for Chrissie Hynde as well. Even though she was in a group (The Pretenders), that first album is all about singer/songwriter/painful/confessional, etc. Just a thought

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