Strings are no stranger to pop music. The Verve used them to compose a "Bittersweet Symphony." But neither are they an everyday presence.
Madison violinist Ida Jo has been embellishing the pop compositions of local band the Compass Rose with dollops of string work for years now. On her debut CD, her use of violin is original and unexpected.
The chord progression that opens "Proud" is tailor-made for acoustic guitar. Instead, Ida Jo plays it to perfection with her favorite instrument.
"Eileen" thrives on understated string work that supports the song's pent-up emotional feel. The track proves that a pop violin doesn't have to be a screaming country fiddle or part of an orchestral indie swell.
Providence is a reminder that pop instrumentation still has lots of boundaries to be pushed. To that end, Ida Jo's violin is a welcome shove.