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Actress Minnie Driver launches debut album

One critic says ‘she can actually sing’
/ Source: Reuters

Actress Minnie Driver launched her debut album on Tuesday, reigniting the musical aspirations she abandoned when she was cast in her first big movie.

The actress, now singer, performed songs from her CD, ”Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket,” at a New York record store on the day it was released by Rounder Records.

“I hope I don’t give you indigestion,” Driver, 34, told the assembled lunchtime crowd of about 120 people.

Driver first gained fame in 1995’s “Circle of Friends” and followed that up with roles, in 1997, in “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “Good Will Hunting.” She earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in the latter.

Since then, Driver -- currently promoting a new movie, “The Phantom of the Opera” -- has appeared in more than a dozen films, though she also has garnered buzz for a recent recurring spot on the TV comedy “Will & Grace” and for her break-ups with actors Matt Damon and Josh Brolin.

Driver wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album, which also includes a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.”

“Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket” is a return of sorts to Driver’s roots. Through her teenage years and in her early twenties, she sang in jazz clubs and had a recording contract with Island Records. But she put her musical aspirations on hold after being cast in the movie “Circle of Friends.”

Rounder Records, an independent U.S. label, is billing the album as “sultry, bittersweet vocals with sparse, atmospheric pop and a hint of contemporary folk.”

Among fans waiting in line for Driver’s autograph, Eugene Friedman of Boca Raton, Florida, said: “She tries really hard and is always trying to expand her versatility. She seems like a good sport.”

The album has yet to be extensively reviewed, though the Toronto Star wrote, “She can actually sing.” It added, however, ”She can only write one kind of song, and it’s very slooooow, sad and boring.”