Review - Mud

Artist: Eszter Balint

As both an occasional actress ("Stranger Than Paradise") and an occasional musician (her debut album was released in 1999), it's surprising that Balint doesn't come across as a dilettante dabbler on "Mud." In fact, her ideas emerge well-formed, delivered with a self-assurance that's perfectly reflected in the easy smile creeping across her face on the cover. Minimal, rocking arrangements create an oddly enveloping atmosphere that, despite the singular name on the cover, sway with the swagger of a seasoned band. Neither self-absorbed soul-searcher nor hip-cocked rocker, Balint comfortably evinces the confidence of a singer with twice her experience.