The album opens strong with "The World's Greatest Haircut," a paean to worthy feminist hero Amelia Earhart. There are some other fine songs, too, especially a compelling lament for a friendship with her hometown's other freak show, "Jasper"--complete with some Springsteen-ish harmonica and a great chorus. Then there's the sweet, Caribbean-flavored "Make Me Please" and the plaintive, country-flavored "Mira."
But most of the rest is for her legions of fans only, and so it goes for most folkie albums by solo artists. The songs are fine, full of heart and clever touches. But unless you're inclined to hang onto her very word, your thoughts may wander during some of her more private moments. Still, Oregon is pretty solid considering she has to make due without bandmate Melissa York's powerful drumming, and she deserves extra points for brevity--it clocks in at half an hour. Other artists should take note.