Pocket change

I don’t need to write a review for this album — Minnie Driver already did it for me.

In a television interview, Driver described how she had her album playing in the background, when her sister remarked, “I’m really liking this new Dido album.”

And there you have it.

Legend (or public relations machinery) has it Driver originally sought a music career and was actually signed to Virgin Records before her casting in Circle of Friends launched a film career instead.

Of course, celebrity crossover has its own pitfalls, the least of which is an audience skeptical of jacks-of-all-trades. (Believe it or not, Jennifer Lopez can be a very good actor.)

Personally? I like Minnie Driver. She’s the kind of actor whose presence can push movies beyond their potential. Return to Me, in which she stars opposite David Duchovny, is pretty standard as far as rom-coms go, but Driver managed to keep the plot from getting too sappy.

So part of me is rooting for her to achieve some degree of success as a songwriter. Does she earn it? Check back a few paragraphs about that Dido remark.

Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket, Driver’s debut, is a your basic slow tempo, slightly ethereal, singer-songwriter fare. On more than one occassion, she displays her affinity for Elton John.

Driver’s voice is sturdy and appealing, but she’s no Joni Mitchell.

The album’s lack of flashy production makes it difficult to perceive the album on more than a subconsious level. That’s a roundabout way of saying it makes for some pretty good background music.

Eventually, the tunes sink in after a few listens, but as first impressions go, Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket does the soft sell a little too softly.

“Invisible Girl” has the distinction of being the most extroverted track on the album. The Eno-like effects on “Wire” and “Deeper Water” provide a nice backdrop, while “Ruby Adeline” actually does an good job of concluding the album.

A lethargic cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart”, though, misses the point entirely.

Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket doesn’t do anything to dispel the notion that actors should stick to acting and musicians should stick to music. But even with Driver’s pedigree as a musician-turned-actor, it’s probably her luckiest stroke that her day job turned out as well as it did.