Singers are the most naked performers of all. With neither instruments nor acting roles to hide behind, the sound of their voices plus their musicality, sensitivity and taste are all on full display.
That's why so many cloak themselves in a persona, even though it negates their most powerful weapon: their vulnerability.
Tina Harrod has never been more naked than on this, her third album. At its most intense, her voice is like shattered glass and she spends more time in her upper range than the contralto that has served her so well.
Shy glimpses of the little girl that inhabits every woman are still there, although this time they come amid a confronting corrosiveness and emotional edginess that exact a reaction.
Penned by Harrod in collaboration with Jonathon Zwartz, Dave Symes or the late Jackie Orszaczky (her partner), the songs blend the soul stylings of her Shacked Up In Paradise debut with the jazzy sensibilities of the more recent Worksongs.
Ultimately, however, Harrod, her co-composers and musicians transcend styles as they collectively illuminate the aching honesty of her diverse perspectives on Orszaczky's sickness, dying, absence and constant memory.
The grief is real and raw but there is also a cathartic element at work, so we are not so much eavesdropping on confessions as being granted insight into a personal experience of universal truth.
The musical settings are often stripped of ornamentation, thereby delineating the voice as a simple black frame surrounding a moody and monotone photograph.
It is not until the third track, 'Underneath Your Spell', that Harrod really begins to cast her own spell.
Co-written with Zwartz, this piece is as pared-back as any, using an elegiac string-trio arrangement by way of contrast – a formula also applied to the groovier 'Paper Cup'.
While '7 Days' superbly enunciates the common sensation that a lost loved one is about to walk through the door, one of the hardest-hitting lyrics, 'The Buried Treasure Song', has a surprising musical bounce to it.
The outstanding players include pianists Matt McMahon and Tom O'Halloran, bassists Zwartz and Symes, and drummers Hamish Stuart and Evan Mannell, with guest appearances from saxophonist Bernie McGann, trombonist James Greening and guitarist Arne Hanna.