EMI – 2004 – 46 minutes

Putting on a near-flawless Irish accent for 1995's 'Circle of Friends' showed Minnie Driver's ability in the vocal department, so it's not surprising that her focus has turned – or rather returned – to singing. Before her Hollywood success, Driver was on her way to becoming a recording artist. Now she has released her debut album 'Everything I've Got in My Pocket'.

Driver's style is similar to that of Sheryl Crow. She would not sound out of place in an intimate, dimly lit venue, strumming a guitar. Her voice is reminiscent of Paula Cole's, leaving no trace of the Driver we once knew. She sounds confident and assured.

Her focus is on love and loss. 'Deeper Water' concerns itself with summoning the courage to look for love again, while 'So Well' is about putting on a brave face in front of a lost love and 'Down' rejoices in an ex-lover's heartache.

Some of Driver's lyrics are very poetic. "Growing up wild, out in the fields/ In awe of the stars, and the power they wield' ('Fast As You Can') is an example of her meditative style. But there are elements that are bland and unexciting. These evocative lyrics crop up from time to time, but not enough to make this album really gripping.

Another problem is the fact that Driver has really Americanised her style. If Driver's lyrics can't draw your attention, which they don't on the whole, she won't really be able to compete with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan.

Perhaps if Driver had delved a little deeper into her poetic side, and not so wholly embraced Americana, this would have been a better debut. As it is 'Everything I've Got in My Pocket' is a mediocre start for Driver. She runs the risk of falling by the wayside.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: Everything I've Got in My Pocket – Invisible Girl – Fast As You Can – Wire – Home – Deeper Water – So Well – Hungry Heart – Down – Yellow Eyes – Ruby Adeline