Some riddles are meant to be solved; others, to be savored, with new wonders and insights to be discovered each time around. Riddles marks the recording debut of Jamie Solow, a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter whose work combines the organic feel of traditional folk with the more contemporary textures of artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Tracy Chapman. But Jamie's is a distinctive new presence on the musical scene. Her voice is warmly expressive - sometimes ethereal and almost childlike, sometimes ballasted with the weight of emotion - and her songs tell stories based on real-life loves, losses, and other experiences. On the deceptively simple title track, she sings, 'When a hand I've held is sliding away, I think love will go on,' but then, 'I turn around and it's gone.' From the lilting folk-jazz of 'Passionflower' and it's ride through the countryside to the more urban longing of 'Freeway,' the songs on Riddles take listeners on a journey of sound and vision. The achingly beautiful 'Joe's Song' was written as a tribute to a friend who died of AIDS, while in the reggae-inflected 'Don't Go Dirty,' she playfully but insistently asks why people keep their hearts walled in. Ultimately, in 'The Softest Hour,' the CD's striking final track, love and passion are carried to their inevitable conclusion: sonic nirvana.