Thursday, 8 April 2010

Amy Barbera CD Review

Amy Barbera is a singer with a truly angelic voice. Her songs are both uplifting and inspirational. Her music is rich in emotion. Amy uses her voice to paint a rainbow of glorious sounds. Amy’s music appeals to listeners of many styles of music. Amy is a deeply religious person and this is highlighted throughout her work. Amy’s music transcends many musical genres from spiritual to easy listening, pop to healing and ambient to classical. Compared to acclaimed artists like Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand it is obvious that Amy is a force to be reckoned with. Her music envelops listeners in a blanket of hope, joy and love. Passion radiates from Amy’s heart and soul as she sings each line of her songs. Amy is an accomplished performer and works extremely hard raising money for many different charities. Throughout this album Amy’s vocals shine brightly and the backing music is evocative and has a slightly magical feel about it. Amy’s own musical influences include Sarah Brightman, Norah Jones, Lisa Gerrard, Josh Groban and Tori Amos.

Amy’s 2008 release Beautiful Flower Of Life features some really beautiful passion filled songs that ooze beauty, love, passion and honesty. The albums cover photo shows Amy surrounded by beautiful purple butterflies. A glorious cover shot that just echoes the beauty of Amy’s music and the album as a whole.

The first song on the album is called Let Me Cry Lord. This song runs for over five minutes, but it is worth every second. Amy’s vocals are delicate and vibrant, almost haunting at times. The backing music enhances the mood of the song. There are definite similarities here between Celine Dion and Amy. Amy sounds polished throughout the song.

God’s Special Angel is a glorious ballad, which showcases Amy’s wonderful vocals. Amy’s voice reminds me of a bird soaring high into the blue sky. Amy’s songs and vocals would not seem out of place in a musical on Broadway.

We Will Fly is a delightful slow song. Once again Amy’s voice is the star of the show. Her vocals are mesmerising and a real joy to listen to.

Your Love Is So Real is a slightly heavier song. Amy’s vocals seem to gain an extra bit of power, her delicateness is gone replaced by purpose. Amy definitely wants to get her message across and that she certainly does with this catchy anthemic song.

Make Me A Butterfly is a lyrical gem. Listen to the words and soak up the magical lyrics. Amy’s words are powerful and uplifting. This song is one of the highlights of the album and worth listening to time and time again. There is a really spiritual feel about this number. I dare listeners not to fall head over heels in love with this beautiful song. The backing music is gentle at first reminding me of water running wild and free. As the song progresses the backing music becomes more prominent but it never overshadows Amy’s vocals.

One Day sees Amy in a gentler more thoughtful mood. Amy’s vocals are soft and wispy on this rather charming song.

Flowers In My Garden is more of an upbeat song. This song has a more modern pop feel.

Broken Father is another spiritually uplifting song. Amy’s vocals are light and airy. The backing music is pronounced giving this song a slightly heavier feel.

I Had A Dream has a strong classical feel. Amy’s voice shines on this number, which seems to blend several musical styles together. The end result is a beautiful and haunting song. Here again it is well worth listening to the lyrics.

I Need You is a strong uplifting song. Amy comes into her own on this song. Her vocals are invigorating, always inviting listeners to hear more.

Cries For Peace is another song that sounds like it belongs in a stage show. Amy’s voice is once again powerful as she tries to get her message across. The backing music is dramatic giving the feel of people marching in time.

Electric Church is a fast modern song with a catchy beat. This song is lively making you want to get up and dance. There are touches of Gloria Estefan here within Amy’s vocals.

The final song on the album is called The Healing Song. This is another slow song with a truly uplifting feel. Amy’s vocals are once again the highlight of this spiritual song.

At the end of this album listeners will feel cleansed and rejuvenated. The music and Amy’s shinning vocals take listeners on a journey that reignites their soul and kick starts their passion for life and living once more.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Soul Mates

Do you believe in soul mates, a person you are destined to be with? Someone you are connected to in ways you cannot imagine. Someone you may never even meet or be able to be with, yet they are still your soul mate. Someone who is the other half of you, the other part of the puzzle if you like. The person who makes you one, makes you whole.

We all have a soul mate out there in the big wide world, in some cases we have more than one soul mate. Some people can have three or four others just the one. We do not always get to meet our soul mate and in lots of occasions we do not get to be with our soul mate as they are already married, spoken for or circumstances do not pan out for one reason or another. If you believe in reincarnation then we could meet our soul mate in one of our previous lives not the life we are living now.

I met my soul mate about nine years a go now. We met by chance. As soon as we met we both knew there was something that extra bit special between us. There was a spark, an intensity between us that we could not explain. It was like we were two pieces of the same object. I was the hand he was the glove that fitted perfectly. We shared so many interests and had such a lot in common - it was scary. We made each other laugh and we could instantly talk with ease about anything from the weather to music, work to sex.

Sadly it was not destined to be. He had a girlfriend and I had someone in my life. We knew that there was a time limit on our acquaintance, the egg timer started off full but soon ran out. I think we knew one another for two months. Just two months. Not a lot of time. In that time however we made the most of every second we had together. I don't mean we were naughty or anything like that. We had partners so we could not act on our impulses although I certainly would have liked to and I think he felt the same way.

After the two months he went his way and me mine. We both said that if things had of been different then maybe we could have dated or got together but fate conspired against us and so we just had a few precious weeks together. It wasn't long but I wouldn't trade those weeks with anyone.

I never saw him again. As you can tell I have never ever forgotten him and never will!!!!

Why do we act like idiots?

Why is it that some people just do it for you? I mean they only have to walk in the room and you go to mush. One word from their mouth and you are like putty in their hands - all weak, heart racing, knees trembling etc etc. Ok I know those are the trademark signs of something we all know as fancying someone but why do those things happen when certain people walk into a room or for that matter speak to you on the phone? I had one of those stop you in your tracks moments earlier. Someone I wasn't expecting to ring called me up. I just looked at the phone in horror. How could I answer it? How could I talk to said person and hold a meaningful conversation? I wasn't going to answer the phone at all, just ignore it and hope the person went away but I had been texting that person so they knew I was in reach of the phone. I didn't want to appear rude so I had to answer it. Texting is ok as you don't have to speak just send words and symbols to one another - back and forth like a game of tennis. Speaking is an altogether more scary prospect. Having to formulate sentences when your mind has gone to mush and all you want to do is giggle is not at all easy. To appear grown up and normal when you feel anything but, not an easy task. So I pressed the green answer call button and tried and failed miserably to act like an adult who wasn't embarrassed or nervous or giggly or any of the other things I was feeling. Of course now I am on a high, floating on cloud nine. Better than taking some illegal drug!!!!! I feel amazing now, all thanks to one telephone conversation, which wasn't even that good a conversation. So my question to you out there in cyberspace is why do we act like idiots when someone comes into our lives that we like or fancy? What is it that makes sensible adults turn into silly idiots? Any ideas on that one?

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Wrong Way Home - Luke Jackson Song Review

The Wrong Way Home is another lyrical gem from talented singer/songwriter Luke Jackson. I love how Luke has written a sensitive tale about teenage pregnancy, highlighting the dangers of growing up too soon. Luke captures everything perfectly here. This tale could relate to so many people. Luke’s vocals vary on this track from strong and powerful to gentle and intoxicating. Lyrically this could be Luke’s best song to date. Luke sings with passion and compassion throughout this song. This song highlights how easy it is to pick the wrong path in life and how easy it is to get burned by doing so. Luke Jackson has a maturity way beyond his years as this song shows.

Thomas Nash Song Review

Thomas Nash hails from Sweden. His music combines country with a touch of rock the end result is a truly original and atmospheric sound and style all of his own. Thomas has many musical influences all from the world of country music, these include: Hank Williams Senior, Willie Nelson, Neil Young. David Allan Coe, Gram Parsons and Billy Joe Shaver.

One For The Road is a fast paced modern country song with an old fashioned feel. The backing music would not be out of place on an old cowboy film. Listening to this song one artist instantly springs to mind – Jack White. This is an enjoyable song that sticks in your head long after the last chord has been struck.

18 Years is a truly fantastic song. Thomas creates an eerie atmosphere with this lyrically and vocally driven number. There are hints of the late Johnny Cash within this song. My one complaint about this song is that it ends way too soon; I just want to hear more. Throughout this song the vocals are gravely and sound quite raw.

Radio Sellout has a really old fashioned country sound. Thomas seems to create with relative ease songs that seem like a throw back to another era. Once again the vocals are the highlight here. They are a joy to listen to.

Lost Highway is a cover of the old Hank Williams song. A popular song in its day Thomas gives this song the once over and comes up with something that sounds fresh and new yet he still retains the songs old fashioned feel. The backing music is limited allowing the vocals to shine. This is a great cover of this classic song.

I Keep On Tumbling Down is a rockier number with a modern beat. Thomas comes up trumps with this thoroughly delightful country song. The chorus is catchy. David Allan Coe and other similar artists would not seem out of place singing this song.

Your Last Hope kicks off with some lovely instrumentation. This is a brilliant country song. Thomas reminds me of a cross between Johnny Cash, Jace Everett and Billy Bob Thornton on this song. This song is packed with dramatic atmosphere and a darkness that seems to echo throughout the song. Thomas really brings this song to life with his wonderful gravely vocals.

I Won’t Fail Hank (Like The Opry Do) is an upbeat song with a modern feel. This is something of a protest song as the title suggests. Here the vocals are more polished.

I Was Born A Free Born Livin Man is another song that sounds like it has been dug out of the archives. This song has a thoroughly old fashioned sound. Once again Thomas brings this song to life with his marvellous vocals, which really shine on this song.

I’m Gonna Be Movin’ On is a really great country song. This is an upbeat song with great vocals. Kris Kristofferson comes to mind on listening to this song.

Let The Good Times Roll is a rocky upbeat song with a strong country edge. The vocals are powerful and edgy. This song is much heavier than the other songs reviewed here. The beat is catchy and quite intoxicating.

Thomas Nash is a real joy to listen to. His music offers listeners a real mixed bag of sounds and styles from modern rocky country done really well to old fashioned country sung with a really traditional sound.

Review of Sam Holmes Demo Album

Review of Sam Holmes Demo Album

Artist – Sam Holmes
Title – Sam Holmes
Rating – 4 stars

Cheltenham based singer/songwriter Sam Holmes self-titled demo CD features seven glorious tracks, which showcase her obvious talents and superior singer/songwriter qualities.

Breathe In is a fresh dreamy song, great to listen to on a hot summer’s day. Sam’s vocals are soft and delicate reminiscent in style of the highly talented pop/country artist Jewel. This is a catchy number, which is easy on the ear.

Charlie is a heartfelt song about seeing people for what and who they are and that sometimes you have to look beyond the mask that people wear everyday to hide their real selves and feelings to really see who a person is. This song is filled with emotion - ‘wiping the dirt from her face Charlie leaves no trace’ and is based on a lady Sam came across whilst on her travels abroad. This is not a particularly happy song but you can tell from the passion in Sam’s voice that this is a song not only written but performed from the heart. This song illustrates just how good a songwriter Sam Holmes is.

Falling Down is a slightly heavier song where Sam’s vocals take on a much stronger tone. This self penned song is carefully crafted and has a country/pop feel to it.

Fool For Love is a brilliant song that really stands out from the crowd. Whereas most of the songs on this demo CD are slow and full of atmosphere this is a catchy, quirky number. As a listener as soon as you hear this song you will want to jump up and start dancing or at least tapping your foot in time to the beat. Listening to this song I am reminded of country singer Sarah MacDougall combined with pop/folk singers Sandi Thom/K T Tunstall. The use of the organ on this particular track makes it stand out from the crowd and gives it a touch of eccentricity and added quirkiness. This song would make a fantastic single.

Solid Ground is a much slower number full of emotion. This song features some great lyrics – ‘I’ve had my hands in roses all day, it is ok to touch roses as long as they are thorn less’. The use of the cello gives this song an added dimension. Again Sam sounds very much like Jewel on this track.

Spaces is definitely a stand out track that allows Sam Holmes to show off another side to her musical talents. This song is full of angst, tender not over done, and passion. Sam’s vocals have a distinct rawness about them. As a listener I was drawn to the emotion you can hear in Sam’s voice as she sings this song.

Stories To Tell is a simple song full of emotion and delicate vocals. This song has a strong folk feel to it. Sam’s vocals take centre stage, never overshadowed by the backing music. This song floats gently along and is a fantastic choice of track to end this short collection on.

This collection of songs proves that Sam Holmes is one seriously talented lady who has a wonderfully delicate voice that can express love and emotion easily. Her songs are carefully crafted and full of tender emotive lyrics. Her songs are not over done allowing her vocals to shine. This is one lady who deserves to be played on radio stations and heard by the masses as her haunting melodies will appeal to old and young alike and to people who like all different types and styles of music. This is pure quality!

Roz Pappalardo and The Wayward Gentlemen - This Lifeboat CD Review

Roz Pappalardo and The Wayward Gentlemen - This Lifeboat
Plus One Records 9319505825416
A rapturous mix of country styles all perfectly blended together
Roz Pappalardo has spent many years touring as one half of the popular Australian folk/indie duo Women In Docs. Spreading her musical wings Roz has swapped styles and released an alternative country album with the help of The Wayward Gentlemen, a selection of some of Brisbane’s finest male musicians. At the helm of this exciting new project is legendary Brisbane based producer Magoo. Roz’s music strongly reflects her musical influences – Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams and Lucinda Williams. Roz Pappalardo is an accomplished songwriter and it is this quality, which helps propel her on this latest musical journey. The album starts off with I Say Fall, which is a quality song. Roz has stunning vocals, which she shows off beautifully in this opening number. There is a strong country vibe running throughout this song. Not Enough is a livelier song, Roz’s vocals are punchy and the backing music is upbeat. Broke features Brisbane singer/song writer Andrew Morris on vocals. This is a gentle song full of lush, warming vocals. One of the highlights of this amazing CD is a cover of the Dolly Parton classic hit Here You Come Again. Roz has given the song more of a country twang than the original had; her lively, upbeat vocals really suit this song, which Roz certainly puts her own stamp on. Lifeboat is a stunning song featuring some great harmonies. There is plenty of emotion in this song. One More Day is a faster modern country song. His Face features folk singer Ben Salter on vocals. This is a slow song of the highest quality. Ben and Roz’s vocals really complement each other. Playground sees the mood pick up again. This is a more upbeat song with strong lyrics and vocals. Magnolia CafĂ© follows on in a similar vain. If you like strong female singer/song writers then you will love this album. No Mountain is a slower song with plenty of emotion packed into the musical backing and gorgeous velvety vocals provided by Roz. This is the kind of song listeners will want to dive into head first. Little Boxes ends the album off with a bang. This is not a song for the faint hearted, quirky and rousing; this song really hammers home just what a great performer Roz Pappalardo really is.

Rod Melancon CD Review

Rod Melancon
Rod Melancon
Rod Melancon is a name for the future there is no doubt in my mind about that
Hailing from the Louisiana bayou Rod Melancon’s debut self-titled album is packed full of songs inspired by family, friends and life experiences. With influences including Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Ryan Adams, The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen it is easy to see where Rod gets his musical style from. There are hints of all of these artists and more in this fine collection of songs. The album starts off with a gravely voiced Rod singing On The Road. This is a highly polished opening song. Rod has the voice of someone a lot older and wiser than his years. Listening to this opening song you know you are in for a real musical treat. Sweet Mary Ann is a folk/country song that reminds me of Tom Russell’s musical story telling but with a much softer edge. A delightful song that again highlights Rod’s enormous singing talents. The Great Escape has a touch of Brad Paisley about it. This is an enjoyable song with plenty of feeling. Sweet Simplicity is a gentle song with a slight pop feel. Here Rod’s love of The Eagles appears to come into play. Home is a lovely ballad with heartfelt, emotional lyrics. This is a real gem. Find Myself Again is a faster song with a rocky edge. There are hints of Bruce Springsteen here. Someday sees a complete change in style. This song has more of an experimental feel. It is not quite a country song and not quite a pop song either. In some ways I feel this particular song spoils the continuity of an otherwise perfect album. Louisiana Night sees a quick return to form. Rod’s deeper vocals remind me of Josh Turner. This is a stunning country song. Motel Room is one of those songs that makes you sit up and take notice. An excellent song, it has smash hit written all over it. Highway Girl is a gentle folk infused song, pleasant on the ear. The final song on the album is called Faith. It feels like the album has gone full circle as Rod’s vocals once again have a gravely edge. There is little backing on this song allowing Rod’s vocals to take centre stage. A lovely song to end the album on. This is an album packed full of potential. Rod Melancon is a name for the future there is no doubt in my mind about that.

Richard Riley - Not If But When CD Review

Richard Riley
Not If But When
Alastia Music ALSCD002
Captivating, refreshing and diverse
Richard Riley is a highly talented guitar player. Richard is also a talented producer and has just finished producing IT’S THE QUIET ONES for local singer Nicky Johns. Richard also sings and writes his own songs. Richard has re-mastered his 2006 album NOT IF BUT WHEN. The album contains ten glorious songs that sound fresh and delightful on the ear. His vocals are soothing and delicate when they need to be and rousing on louder more upbeat numbers. Richard’s influences include Bread and Neil Young. The album begins with Evie, the song starts off quite slow allowing Richard’s amazing vocals to shine through but as the song progresses the mood shifts up a gear. The chorus is anthemic and Richard’s vocals easily echo that feeling. Nothing To Write Home About is a truly outstanding song. The song sees Richard slip effortlessly between singing and speaking. I am sure many people will relate to Richard’s words. It is easy to picture this song being used as part of the soundtrack to a television show. Sharpie Tattoo is jam packed with wonderful lyrics. Richard’s vocals are intoxicating throughout this song. Kissing (Doesn’t Count) starts off quite dramatically. This is a rousing song with heavy backing music. Nineteen Seventy Three is an outstanding song, which mentions in the lyrics Elvis and John Lennon. Richard’s voice is gentle but goes up a gear when he wants to get his message across. Mr X is a song about winning a talent contest. Richard’s lyrics are cynical but spot on. Not If But When is a catchy song with a quirky melody. This song has a dreamy feel. The Wrong Side Of The Road sees Richard in reflective mode. Richard asks through his lyrics if he would like himself as he is now, twenty years a go. The lyrics are worth a close listen. We Can Ride is a heavier song. This song offers listeners a big dash of folk/rock in the style of Rock Salt and Nails. And The Stars (Are Looking Back) is the final offering on the album. This is a slower song with some stunning guitar work and lush vocals. There are hints of James Taylor here in this lovely song. If you can get your hands on an original copy of this CD then do as it features four excellent bonus songs. You’re The Difference is a dramatic ballad, which is piano driven and has a pop/folk vibe. Deep In This Heart is a light breezy guitar driven song. Of the four bonus songs Honesty is a real gem. It showcase’s Richard’s unique style and is an innovative song with a modern/futuristic feel. Put Your Arms Around Me is an upbeat modern song with a distinct pop feel. Richard’s sound is captivating, refreshing and extremely diverse.

Richard Riley CD Review

Richard Riley is a highly talented guitar player from the UK. Richard has played electric and acoustic guitar on many recordings. Richard is also a talented producer and has just finished producing IT’S THE QUIET ONES for local singer Nicky Johns. On top of all that Richard also sings and writes his own songs. Richard has re-mastered his 2006 album NOT IF BUT WHEN, giving it a more upbeat feel. The album contains ten glorious songs that sound fresh and delightful on the ear. Richard’s songs are interesting lyrically. His vocals are soothing and delicate when they need to be and rousing on louder more upbeat numbers. Richard’s influences include Bread, Neil Young and The Beach Boys. The album begins with Evie, the song starts off quite slow allowing Richard’s amazing vocals to shine through but as the song progresses the mood shifts up a gear. The chorus is anthemic and Richard’s vocals easily echo that feeling. Nothing To Write Home About is a truly outstanding song. The song sees Richard slip effortlessly between singing and speaking. The lyrics are delightful to listen to. I am sure many people will relate to Richard’s words. It is easy to picture this song being used as part of the soundtrack to a television show. Sharpie Tattoo is another song jam packed with wonderful lyrics. Richard’s vocals are intoxicating throughout this charming song. Kissing (Doesn’t Count) starts off quite dramatically. This is a rousing song with heavy backing music. This song is really engrossing and ends far too soon. Nineteen Seventy Three is an outstanding song, which mentions in the lyrics Elvis, John Lennon and Bond movies. Richard’s voice is gentle but goes up a gear when he wants to get his message across. Mr X is a song about winning a talent contest. Richard’s lyrics are cynical but spot on. This is an interesting song, worth a close listen. Not If But When is a catchy song with a quirky melody. This song has a dreamy pop feel about it. Richard’s vocals are refreshing. One of Richard’s influences is The Monkeys, I think that influence spills into this song. If you like upbeat gentle music with strong lyrics then you will love this song. The Wrong Side Of The Road sees Richard in reflective mode. Richard asks through his lyrics if he would like himself as he is now, twenty years a go. Again here the lyrics are worth a really close listen. Richard’s vocals are charismatic. We Can Ride is another of the heavier songs on the album. This song offers listeners a big dash of folk/rock in the style of Rock Salt and Nails. This is another anthemic song packed full of energy and power. And The Stars (Are Looking Back) is the final offering on the album. This is a slower song with some stunning guitar work and lush vocals all provided by Richard. There are hints of James Taylor here in this lovely song.

Richard Burley - Time Spent Counting Magpies CD Review

Richard Burley - Time Spent Counting Magpies
Alsatia 884502196184
A fusion of styles blended together into one great album
Richard Burley has always had a passion for music. Hailing from Bristol Richard’s influences include the songs his grandmother and father used to sing to him and the songs he sang at school in the 50’s and 60’s right through to John Martyn, Johnny Cash, Paul Brady, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. TIME SPENT COUNTING MAGPIES blends many styles of music together to create something wonderful. This album looks at what it means to be alive and how love can make us reflect on our lives. Richard almost gave up on his dream of becoming a musician but in the end his passion for music won through. Counting Magpies opens the album. Instantly James Taylor comes to mind. Richard’s vocals are warming and rich. This song blends modern folk with a kind of Eagles sound. The end result is something listeners will really want to listen to. The Tear follows on in a similar style. Richard’s vocals are evocative and the backing music is interesting and varied throughout. The Winter Gardens sees the music shift up a gear. Richard’s vocals take on a slightly different style but still retain something of a warming glow. Blood Water & Wine has a slight jazz feel to it. Pass It On is a delicious song, which sees Richard again singing in a similar style to that of James Taylor. Sometimes You Just Have To Walk has a real folk feel to it. Gone is a pleasant slow song with gentle backing music. Richard’s voice is magical and the lyrics are so emotive. Everlasting Shame is a rockier number written for Nicki Davey to sing, who as well as having a great voice runs the Wookey Hole Acoustic Club. Your Good Light is a slow song, which sounds divine. Lush vocals really enhance this charming song. Old Bristol Road is a rocky rousing song with a catchy beat. The album ends on a high note with the song This Time It’s Personal. This is another upbeat song, which rounds off the album nicely. All in all a nice mix of songs from this talented UK artist.

Renee McCullough CD Review

Renee McCullough
Cool Me
Uplifting good quality music with a rocky edge
Although singer/songwriter Renee McCullough is not a household name she has been performing her music for the past twenty years. Her debut album COOL ME was produced by Grammy Award winning engineer Jim Robeson. Renee started off her musical carer by playing folk venues. She performs regularly in local venues with her music a blend of Americana and country. Renee has numerous musical influences including Lucinda Williams and Neil Young. Her debut album starts off with You Got Nothin On Me. Renee’s vocals are raspy and reminiscent in style of Jennifer Nettles. This is an amazing song bulging with atmosphere and depth. Cool Me is a softer song but Renee’s vocals are still magical and a delight to listen to. Renee blends country with rock and Americana with ease. Weeds sees the tempo step up a gear. This is a rocky song with a distinct edge. The music is heavier and Renee’s voice is powerful. Pink Room is a slower song, which received an honourable mention from the 2008 Mid-Atlantic song contest. Renee’s vocals are gentle and evocative. Rocket has a strong country feel. This is an upbeat engaging song. Renee’s vocals are bouncy and energetic. Catastrophic has a distinct traditional country feel. There are some similarities between Renee’s vocals on this song and those of top country singer Lorrie Morgan. Visionary Man has a modern pop/country sound. Renee’s vocals are a real joy to listen to as they vary so much from song to song. Baltimore is one of those songs you need to stop and really listen to. Renee blends Reba McEntire style country with a touch of gospel on this rousing song. This is an uplifting song full of energy. Betray is an upbeat rocky song. Renee’s vocals are striking and really stand out against the heavy backing music. The final song is a slow delicate number called Wait And See. Renee’s vocals really shine bright and bold on this glorious song, which is perhaps the highlight of the whole album. COOL ME is packed full of amazing songs that come to life thanks to the wonderful vocal talents of Renee McCullough.

Rebekka Paige CD Review

Rebekka Paige
Rebekka Paige
Self- released 625989592720
A rocky album with a strong country sound
Rebekka Paige has been singing since a very young age but first sang live at a talent show held at her school. She chose a Leann Rimes song for the occasion and wowed the audience with her amazing voice - receiving a standing ovation. Since then wherever Rebekka has performed she has received enormous praise for her singing talents. A native of Maitland, Ontario Rebekka has opened for the likes of top country group Emerson Drive. This self-titled album produced by Keith Glass of Prairie Oyster is made up of ten songs, which fuse together with ease rock, pop and traditional country. Home Town Blues opens up the album in fine style. This is a rocky song with a strong authentic country sound. Dream is a slower number, which showcases Rebekka’s truly stunning vocal talents. Girls Like Fast Cars Too is a typical modern country song. Noisy and catchy with a hint of Miranda Lambert about it. Ripples On The Water is another slow number that has hit written all over it. Perhaps the best song on the album? Out Of Luck has a really traditional feel about it, yet it still sounds fresh and new on the ear of the listener. This is the first of the two songs on the album co-written by Rebekka with Keith Glass. Good Riddance was the first song off of the album to be released to Canadian country radio and is a highly polished modern country song. Written by Bob Delaposta and Jim Carolan it received air play across the country. Rebekka shows on this number that she can really belt out a song. Shape Up Heart is a catchy number that will appeal to music lovers who like their country a bit more traditional. This song has a very authentic feel to it. Modern Day Cowboy is another punchy number. Unbreakable Heart is a cover of the classy Carlene Carter song. This song was breathtaking the first time round and it is hard to imagine anyone doing a cover that matches that but Rebekka has managed to make this song her own and make it sound as good as the original. Watch Your Back ends the album on a high note. This is yet another highly polished fast modern country song co-written by Rebekka with Keith Glass. Already compared with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Rebekka has a lot to live up to. This is a pleasing first album from a young lady who obviously has bags of talent.

Rebecca Jed CD Review

Rebecca Jed
Wild And Free
The voice of a country angel
Rebecca spent her summers whilst growing up helping her dad manage his ranch. Rebecca really loved that life, barrel racing in local rodeos, leading trail rides and snake hunts. Much of her music is inspired by the time she spent on her dad’s ranch. During the winter months Rebecca lived on her family’s farm in Texas with her four sisters. Rebecca had singing lessons throughout her time at school. Those lessons led to her performing at talent shows and state fairs. At the age of twelve she started to learn how to play the guitar. At the age of eighteen Rebecca left farm life behind her and went in search of her dream. In 2006 Rebecca’s first album PEARL HANDLE PISTOL was recorded. This was an album full of real country songs. Rebecca’s new album WILD AND FREE is once again an album full of classic country. The songs on this album tell of life and love. The songs are descriptive allowing listeners to build up a picture in their own minds of the world Rebecca is singing about. You Never Broke My Heart is a catchy up-tempo country song with a traditional edge. Rebecca’s vocals are very distinct and interesting. It is very easy to get hooked on Rebecca’s music even after hearing just one song. Wild And Free has a western swing sound running through it. Jed is a faster paced traditional sounding country song. Rebecca’s sound is modern yet also very old fashioned. Emmylou Harris springs to mind time and time again whilst listening to this fantastic album. Lover is a heavier song, with a slightly more modern country sound. Train Track Beat blends traditional country with Appalachian folk music. Marbles is a charming country song. Rebecca’s voice mirrors that of Dolly Parton’s voice on occasion. Save You From Yourself is a gentle top quality country song. Rebecca’s vocals are quite organic. Serial Killer Of The Heart is a faster country song with traditional instrumentation. Old Western Movie is a wonderful classic country song with plenty of atmosphere and depth. Indian Girl is a slow song in the style of Gillian Welch. How Far Would You Go is an upbeat folk/country song. Gun Under My Pillow is another one of Rebecca’s splendid classic country songs. Jaded is an upbeat country/rock song. This song has a much more modern feel to it than the rest of the songs on the album. The final song comes all too soon. Rank Stranger is a slow charming country song. Once again Emmylou Harris comes to mind. Rebecca Jed has the voice of a country angel. It is as if she was born to sing good wholesome country songs.

Nicky Johns It’s The Quiet Ones You Have To Watch CD Review

Nicky Johns It’s The Quiet Ones You Have To Watch
Self-released 884502162424
Classy vocals that exude warmth
From its magnificent sunny cover photo to the charming vocals of female singer/songwriter Nicky Johns it is clear that IT’S THE QUIET ONES YOU HAVE TO WATCH is an album of exceptional high quality music certainly worth a listen or two. Nicky has been playing on the Bristol folk/acoustic scene for several years and now with a good following of fans she is releasing her first full length album. The album was produced by Richard Riley, who also plays guitar on the album. All ten songs on the album were written by Nicky. It is hard to compare this exciting singer with anyone else as she has such a distinct voice all of her own. On This Ship Together is a longish song running over six minutes. It has a laid back acoustic feel. Nicky’s vocals are quite distinct and the descriptive lyrics are very relevant to life today. Denim Blue Eyes has a quaint old fashioned feel about it. An attractive delicate song with lush vocals. Cinderella is another long song, seven minutes, here again the lyrics are very relevant to life today. St John’s Lock is a slow dreamy song with lovely backing music provided by the recorder, electric guitar and bass. Nicky’s vocals are classy throughout and exude warmth reminding listeners of a sunny day picnicking in the park. The River Says Yes has a slight blues feel to it, echoed in the string bass being played by JJ Quick. Nicky’s vocals once again exude warmth and a velvety richness. NY Sky is a lighter song with a more upbeat feel. In My Heart sees a slight change in style. This song has a dramatic and very atmospheric feel. Little Boat features Audrey Riley on the cello. Nicky’s vocals are beautiful on this top class number, which really proves what a remarkable singer Nicky John’s is. Taco is a delightful folk/country infused song with an upbeat tempo and exceptional vocals once again. Scratching The Itch is a classic modern folk song with great lyrics. Nicky is joined on vocals by John Blake and Humph Bennett from The Willbees, who compliment her voice brilliantly. All too soon the album reaches its climax but listeners will be so enchanted by Nicky’s vocals that they will play the album all over again.

Nathalie Nahai CD Review

Artist – Nathalie Nahai
Title – Fortune Teller
Label – Fuzzy Muskrat Records
Catalogue No. – 796873010498
Rating – 4 ½ stars

Nathalie Nahai’s latest offering Fortune Teller is an album full of raw, emotional songs with Nathalie’s vocals stripped bare. This is a magical and charming collection of songs all written by Nathalie. An album full of honesty and openness. Nathalie’s music doesn’t fit into any one category. Her songs mix a traditional old style country with a combination of pop, blues and jazz to produce something fresh and exciting yet also strangely old fashioned and innocent. Nathalie’s music is influenced by folk and bluegrass music. Fortune Teller is made up of songs that express what it is like to be a woman falling in love. Not an album for the faint hearted this album touches on heartbreak and seduction as well as forbidden love and how people can use romance in a cruel way to seduce and manipulate people to get want they want often hurting the person they profess to love in the process.

Polly Ride On is a fantastic opening track, which really showcases Nathalie’s vocal talents. Simple and unobtrusive backing music combined with Nathalie’s edgy vocals give this track plenty of emotion and atmosphere.

Blood & Cyanide follows in a similar style to the opening track. Nathalie’s vocals are bold and full of an understated angst yet hauntingly beautiful at the same time.

Overboard is a slightly livelier song with a strong country feel to both Nathalie’s vocals and the music. This song is very close to Nathalie’s heart as it was written about her first love.

Queen & Country sees a change in style once again. This song has a slight blues feel to it. The music is much more pronounced than on earlier tracks giving this song a real edge. Nathalie’s vocals lose much of their innocence and rawness on this song, yet there is still a certain charm about this number.

La Boheme is the only song on the album in which Nathalie does not sing in English. This is a charming song full of passionate vocals and music. This song gives the album a different dynamic and certainly shakes up the style and atmosphere of the whole album.

Winter sees Nathalie return to her earlier sound. This is another song where Nathalie’s vocals are raw and full of passion.

Where Children Play has a strange feel to it. Nathalie’s vocals have a really haunting feel to them especially in the chorus where her voice goes up an octave. Listening to this song Nathalie’s voice shares some similarities in style to Amy Lee, the lead singer of the group Evanescence.

Only There is another song with a strong country feel to it. The music is quite catchy and Nathalie’s vocals are kept simple, never over embellished. This is an enjoyable track worthy of plenty of air play.

Sly Girl has a blues/jazz feel to it. This song has quite a dramatic feel to it. Lyrically this song is full of little gems for example – ‘you may have your wicked way but who will have you when the day is done?’ and ‘you say that you are so unhappy but you bite the hand that feeds’. The song ends a little prematurely leaving the listener wanting to hear more.

Softly Now rounds off the album. This is another really organic song, where Nathalie’s vocals are allowed to shine brightly.

The ten tracks on this album are all great and certainly well crafted. To really appreciate this album you need to sit quietly and listen closely to the lyrics contained in the songs. This is the only way to immerse yourself in the passion and beauty that exudes from the tender words and vocals that make up these fragile little gems. Nathalie certainly wears her heart on her sleeve during this album and from a listener’s perspective that is no bad thing.

Michelle Turley - Dance With Me Tonight CD Review

Michelle Turley - Dance With Me Tonight
Victorio Records, Inc. 830159002156
This album is so good I want to give it ten stars
Michelle Turley grew up on a ranch, where country music was a big part of her life. Having parents who were musicians it was inevitable that Michelle would one day become a singer/song writer. Originally from Deming in New Mexico, Michelle spent her teenage years in Phoenix. Michelle worked for a time as a fashion model for the Ford Agency in New York, spending her free time writing and recording music. DANCE WITH ME features a whole heap of top musicians who have performed with country singers like Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney. The album opens up with a fast paced song, Caroline, that blends modern and contemporary country together effortlessly. With hints of Pam Tillis and Miranda Lambert this song really gets the album off to a flying start. Hard Times has already been a big radio hit. This is a catchy cheery song and Michelle’s vocals are interesting and refreshing. I Can’t Cry is a lovely slow ballad with a really traditional sound. Fans of old fashioned country will love this excellent song and Michelle’s delicate vocals. Now I Know is another fast paced song with a catchy beat. Memory is a dazzling song, which deserves to be a big hit for Michelle. It is a captivating song with a really traditional feel. I Can’t Help Lovin You again has a really traditional old style country feel about it. I Understand is an upbeat song with a catchy beat. Bus Stop is a slow gentle song with superlative vocals and glorious backing instrumentation. Dance With Me Tonight, the title song, is a slow passion filled number with exquisite, dusky vocals. This song will appeal to modern and old fashioned country fans alike. Daddy is another slow song. I am reminded here of Emmylou Harris. Best Love In The World is another glorious ballad with exceptional vocals. If I Could Be With You, once again shows off Michelle’s pure vocals. Caroline (In Orange Blossoms) gives listeners a musical interlude of the highest quality. No Place Like Home ends the album on a high note. This is another beautiful ballad, which one again allows Michelle to show off her amazing vocals.

Meiko CD Review

MySpace Records MYSP MSR10035
A beautiful and breathtaking debut album
Meiko is one of those artists who oozes with quality and uniqueness. As soon as Meiko starts to sing on this debut self-titled release you know that you are listening to something extra special. This is delectable stuff! Meiko has a distinctive voice that is full of youthful innocence. Meiko’s style is honest and fresh with a certain amount of rawness about it, giving it an organic feel. It is this magical blend that overwhelms the listener and begs them to hear more. Meiko has penned all the songs on this folk/rock/pop infused album proving that she is an excellent singer/songwriter reminiscent in style of Shawn Colvin, Dido and Jewel. With Meiko’s influences including the Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin and Fiona Apple it is easy to see why this album is packed full of amazing lyrical treasures. Reasons To Love You opens with a lovely burst of cello. This is a gentle song that floats harmlessly along. Meiko’s voice is delicate throughout this opening number. Right from the start you know that you are listening to something beautiful and quite breathtaking. How Lucky We Are is slightly more upbeat than the opening number yet Meiko’s vocals are still rather lush and organic in sound. The message Meiko seems keen to convey in this song is that we might want more from life but we must never forget how lucky we are. Heard It All Before is another dreamy song but if you listen closely you will see that the lyrics are serious and speak of the hard decisions you have to make when you are deciding if you are going to leave someone or stay with them. Boys With Girlfriends has much heavier backing than the previous songs on this charming album. This song has a really commercial feel to it but that does not detract from the fact that it is still full of clever and carefully constructed lyrics. Piano Song is quite a simple song that allows Meiko’s voice to shine. Hiding is an atmospheric song. Meiko’s vocals are warm and intense on this striking number. One of the highlights of this album. There is a certain amount of innocence surrounding Meiko’s vocals on this number yet she also manages to convey a sense of great maturity. Sleep is one of those songs where the listener is forced to stop what they are doing and listen closely to the song, the music and the words. Meiko’s voice in this number is haunting. Listening to Meiko’s voice on his wonderful song is like wrapping yourself up in a piece of crushed velvet. Here again the use of the cello gives the song added depth and magic. Atmospheric, dreamy and extremely evocative. Said And Done is another striking number. As soon as this song begins Nick Cave comes to mind possibly because of the jarring music and the dark, ghostly world it conjures up in the listeners mind. The music is unsettling helped by the use of the trumpet and mandolin. Walk By is yet another brilliant song, which sees Meiko change her vocal style from verse to chorus and back again. Meiko’s vocals are evocative and fragile and once again the cello makes an appearance adding to the drama of the song. Under My Bed is a softer number that allows Meiko’s rich voice to take centre stage. Hawaii is a lovely song to end the album on. The backing music is stripped right back allowing Meiko’s delicate and slightly haunting vocals to take centre stage once again. Meiko’s vocals are perfect, as a listener you will find yourself wanting to submerge yourself in them. Her voice is addictive and it is with great sadness and with a feeling of emptiness that the album fades into silence. A deafening silence that will have listeners diving for the play button once more. This album offers listeners a little slice of paradise in the form of eleven glorious songs on a CD.

Matthew McCully - Matthew McCully And The Matter Of Principle CD Review

Matthew McCully - Matthew McCully And The Matter Of Principle
Delicate vocals enhance this charming album
Matthew McCully was born and raised in Quebec. Matthew used music as a form of expression from a young age. Graduating with a major in music, Matthew left Quebec and settled in Vancouver. Music was still a great passion of Matthew’s. Encouraged by the people he shared his songs with Matthew came up with a collection of wonderful songs, which fill his new CD - MATTHEW MCCULLY AND THE MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. Matthew’s music is simple yet evocative and has a folk/country/pop sound. His songs are personal in style and content. The instruments that accompany Matthew on his musical journey give the songs a really fine ambiance. Female harmony vocals give several of the songs an added lift. The album starts off with Free Fall; a folk infused song with dark undertones, which come to life through the music and lyrics. Matthew’s voice has a real honest feel to it. Plains Of Abraham has a more upbeat feel. Matthew’s voice is dreamy and beautiful to listen to. The Protection Song has a strong bluegrass feel. The accompanying music really adds character to the song. Ohio has some lovely piano instrumentation. A slow song with delicate vocals. This is something of a slow burner but Matthew’s exquisite vocals win the day. Something Warm has a more modern sound. Matthew’s voice takes on a style reminiscent of James Taylor. An enjoyable highlight! Elephant Trainer is a lighter sounding song. Mark Of The Mermaid has a strong folk influence. Whistle Blower is an enjoyable song with quirky backing music. Matthew’s vocals are strong and edgy on this folk/rock song. Little Wars is a slower song with a rich sensitive vibe running through it. Once again James Taylor comes to mind. Swing has a traditional sound. Chain Gang ends the album on a high note. This is a warming song infused with a mixture of pop and folk. Matthew’s tender and somewhat fragile vocals give this song added depth. This is a charming album packed full of delightful heart warming songs.

Maryanne Rice CD Review

Maryanne Rice
Think Twice
Too many genres detract from Maryanne’s amazing vocal style
Maryanne Rice’s first album features a collection of personal and emotional songs. Maryanne’s music covers many genres from country to pop and blues to jazz. For this album Maryanne has teamed up with producers/songwriters John DeMarzo and Dennis Nardantonio. Dennis plays electric, rhythm and lead guitar on the album and John plays piano and acoustic guitar. Maryanne’s voice is a pleasure to listen to. It is intense and rich. She easily projects emotion through her stylish vocal style. The Real World gets the album off to a quality start. Maryanne’s vocals are heavenly on this slow paced ballad. Touch The Way They Should is a classy country number with an up-tempo beat. The title song Think Twice fuses together many musical styles including country, jazz and pop. Like The Thought Of Missing You has a Caribbean vibe running through it, but is predominately a folk/pop song. Crime is a country rock song with an airy sound echoed throughout the instrumentation. No Less A Stranger is more of a pop song. This song has a strong narrative feel. Gone is a lovely country song with intense charming vocals. Innocence is a rock/alt-country song. This song is full of angst and has a definite edge. My Last Love Song is a beautiful slow song with a soulful jazz/country sound. This song is packed full of emotion and Maryanne’s vocals really bring that emotion to life. The Final Sunset has a blues vibe running through it. This is another classy song with enjoyable vocals. There are many amazing songs on this album but there are too many genres covered here I feel and this is where Maryanne lets herself down. Maryanne has a lovely voice but bouncing around from country to rock, pop to jazz and so forth detracts from what Maryanne is trying to achieve. There is plenty of potential here but I feel like Maryanne has gone to the cupboard and thrown all the ingredients into the pot at once.

Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway - Drunk In Love CD Review

Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway - Drunk In Love
Self-released 884501190855
Invigorating debut album
Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway formed in 2007, they have won two rising star awards in America and in May this year at the Review Magazine Awards they went home with seven awards including Best New Country Band and Female Vocalist Of The Year. They have already received rave reviews in America for DRUNK IN LOVE, which is their debut release. The Lost Highway are made up of Greg Kevorkian, Barry Forster, Craig Wright and Dan Wright with Mandi Layne on lead vocals. Not for the faint hearted their music blends modern country with rockabilly and southern rock. If You Ain’t Wasted is a rousing opening song. Mandi’s vocals are dusky and powerful. This song really gets the album off with a bang! Hell Hath No Fury follows on in a similar style. This is another raucous number with plenty of attitude and great vocals provided by Mandi. This song brings Gretchen Wilson to mind. Drunk In Love is a softer song with gentle vocals. Mandi seems to switch between soft and gentle and raspy and rousing vocals with great ease. Star Of My Life picks up the fast pace once again. Another up-tempo modern country song. Brown Bottle Blues is a beautiful song with Mandi once again providing some fantastic gentle vocals. The Simple Side is a polished modern country song in the style of Martina McBride. The Open Road is a rocky song but it still retains a strong country feel to it. NBD is a fast paced upbeat song with a really catchy beat. Chinese On Monday is a lovely modern country song, which again showcases Mandi Layne’s amazing vocals. Friends and Lovers sees Greg Kevorkian join Mandi on vocals. The instrumental backing for this song is quite traditional but this is a thoroughly modern country song. She’s Gonna Get A Life and Runaway With Me continue the album on in much the same style. The final offering Straight To Hell is a lovely song that once again allows Mandi’s vocals to really shine. This is a charming song with a nice upbeat feel to end off what is certainly an action packed album full of fine music. Mandi Layne has the voice of an angel on slow songs and the voice of a rock goddess on fast paced numbers.

Maggie Malyn EP Review

Maggie Malyn
Maggie Malyn
A taster of great things to come
Maggie Malyn’s music blends folk with roots, blues and country. The end result is a fresh innovative sound. Maggie is a talented singer/songwriter and violinist. Maggie started singing at a young age, later she started to write her own songs and play the guitar. Moving from Detroit to Los Angeles Maggie took up her first residency at the Cat Club on Sunset Strip. She also played other Hollywood venues. Her debut EP was produced by Jack Maeby and features some highly talented musicians who have worked with the likes of Shelby Lynne and Keb Mo. Maggie’s musical influences include the usual array of female singer/songwriters along with artists such as James Taylor and The Beatles. One Last Try (The State Song) is the opening song on the EP. Maggie’s vocals have a distinct edge and sound all of their own. This song has a strong folk flavour mixed with a dash of traditional country. New Day is more roots orientated with a splash of country and blues. Please Jesus is a slower country song. This song is very traditional in sound. Who Are They is a country flavoured folk song. Maggie’s vocals are a little lighter on this particular song. Fat Bottomed Girls is a humorous quirky country song, again with a strong traditional feel. Maggie’s vocals are rich in charm and character. The four songs on this EP are just a taster of Maggie’s wonderful talents.

Luke Jackson Song Review Part 3

Luke Jackson is without a doubt a lyrical genius, wise beyond his young years. His latest song Kings Of The School Bus is worded perfectly and describes in wonderful detail kids riding on a school bus. Every line of this acoustic rock/folk song rings so true. Luke hits the nail firmly on the head with every word he sings in this ode to life on a school bus riding to and from school every day. He notes how annoying the other kids can be and how the bus driver struggles to cope. The song is fairly upbeat throughout but three quarters of the way through the song picks up pace quite dramatically before slowing back to the original pace for the remainder of the song. Luke’s vocals are engaging throughout this charming song. There is plenty of attitude in this song and this filters through in Luke’s edgy vocal style. His vocals have a raw quality and easily slip under the listener’s skin making them want to hear more.

Just Like You is another lyrically driven song from Luke Jackson. A much slower song than a lot of Luke’s other songs this song really packs a punch with its down to earth, brutally honest lyrics that will resonate with many listeners. Luke’s vocals are haunting and gentle throughout. This song really highlights Luke’s vocal talents. The backing music is sparse, which adds to the atmosphere of the song stepping up a gear very occasionally. With his clever lyrics Luke paints a rather bleak world but this is our world, his lyrics effortlessly constructing a clear image of the world we live in today. Luke’s writing talents really shine here.

Luke Jackson Song Review Part 2

Luke Jackson Song Review

Luke Jackson is a remarkable young man who hails from Canterbury in Kent. Although still young in age Luke is already building himself an amazing reputation as a gifted singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist. Now fifteen years old Luke first performed live on stage at the age of twelve, learning the guitar at the age of ten. He has already had the opportunity to perform at some of the greatest roots, acoustic and rock venues in the UK as well as having the chance to open for acclaimed artists such as the Welsh singer Martyn Joseph, folk singer Julie Felix and the amazingly talented female country singer Rachel Harrington. Luke has co-written songs with both American and English song writers. One of Luke’s songs – Smile is to be featured on a CD of songs by international unsigned artists in aid of a charity called ‘Cure Across The World’. The charity was set up by a young American cancer survivor, with the proceeds of the CD going towards the American Cancer Society. Luke was also given the great honour and opportunity to co-write the title song for a charity album in aid of Cystic Fibrosis called Faith. The album is due out in October 2009 and the title song is one of the highlights of what promises to be a great album. Along with the album a single is being released featuring Luke’s amazing song Faith. Luke is not just famous in the UK; his songs are played on radio stations and on the internet throughout Europe and the States. Luke has a busy schedule playing live gigs most months throughout the UK – Manchester, Norwich, London and Portsmouth to name just a few of the places Luke has played. Luke sells EP’s featuring his songs at live gigs. 2009 could be the year that Luke Jackson makes it big. He has been contacted by many top song writers all keen to work with him and his MySpace page is extremely successful helping Luke to get his name out there and into the limelight. Luke’s musical influences are varied but he has a strong liking for folk/roots/acoustic artists like Richard Thompson, John Hiatt, Rachel Harrington and Martyn Joseph. Other favourite artists/influences include U2, talented female singer Karima Francis, Morcheeba, Kings of Leon, Frank Turner and The Kooks. Luke is also partial to a bit of blues in particular the talented Kent Duchaine. Currently unsigned by a record label Luke Jackson is one of the UK’s finest singer/songwriters to emerge for years. Whoever signs this young man up will be onto a real winner.

Am I Good Enough For You is an edgy song that shows just how talented Luke Jackson is. Paul Thomas supplied the lyrics for this song and Luke supplied the music. This is anything but a fluffy pop song with repetitive lyrics. This is a classy song with plenty of angst and emotion, which easily slips under the listener’s skin. Luke’s vocals are passionate and strong. They have a distinctive style all of their own. This is a powerful roots infused song with amazing lyrics and strong vocal content.

Fall is another extremely polished roots song with plenty of depth and feeling. Luke’s vocals are edgy throughout. This song shows off Luke’s passion for music and for making songs come to life. Luke’s youthfulness comes through in this catchy song but rather than spoil the song it gives the song an added dimension. It is so hard to find fault with this amazing song. Luke’s vocals are infectious and so easy to fall head over heels in love with!

Bakers Woods is a slower song packed with quality and passion. Written by Luke this song is perfect in every way possible. Luke proves here that he can really sing and bring songs to life. This is a top class folk/roots song. Luke sings way beyond his young years. This is one of those songs listeners will yearn to see performed live as it has such an atmosphere about it. Wonderful and amazing!

Where Belongs Your Heart once again shows off Luke’s amazing vocal talents. This is a blistering song oozing with magic. Luke is great at carrying off a slow song. This song is romantic in nature and Luke manages to create a romantic atmosphere with his vocals, which are quite organic on this song. I personally like this song becomes it does not seem over polished in anyway. It has a rawness about it that captivates me as a listener and makes me want to hear the song again and again.

Smile was written by Luke and is a more up beat song with an edgy beat. Luke’s vocals are quite rough on this song giving them a distinctive edge. It is great to hear Luke carrying off a song with no backing only his trusty guitar. Luke combines some interesting lyrics into this breezy song, which just goes to prove how talented he is as a songwriter.

One November sees Luke working with Paul Thomas. Paul and Luke seem to have an excellent working partnership with both bringing the best out of each other. This song is packed full of amazing lyrics once again, which Luke brings to life with his amazing vocals. Another truly stunning song.

Sometimes Yesterdays sees Luke collaborating with Ken Davis. This is a powerful song with lots of angst contained in Luke’s vocals. This song really suits Luke’s vocal style. The song starts off with a gentle feel but soon rises up a gear before settling down into a slower mood once again. These transitions give Luke the opportunity to really get his message across.

She’s Got A New Guitar is featured on Luke’s single Faith along with Bakers Woods. This is another song where Luke and his guitar are allowed to take centre stage and that they certainly both do. This song has quite a raw organic feeling about it. I strongly believe that if Luke’s vocals were polished by a record company his songs would lose some of their magic. His is a lovely song with great lyrics. Luke’s lyrics really need to be paid close attention to as they are so inspiring and so cleverly written.

Still Too Young To Tour is such a catchy song with clever lyrics that will put a smile on any listeners face. I love this song; it is perfect in every way possible. Everyone should listen to this wonderful song. Ten out of ten for this quirky song that really lifts my spirits when I listen to it!!!!

Rain was written by Luke and is a stunning song that really stands out. This is one of those songs that has everything – it is made up of amazing lyrics, the vocals evoke such emotion in the listener and the music is never over bearing just gentle enough to catch the listener’s ear from time to time. An adorable song, which is really deep in content. There is only one word that can be used to describe this song and that word is WOW!

Faith was co written with American lyricist Charlie Mason. This song is the title song from an album by various artists all helping to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. All proceeds from the sale of the album will go towards the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which is the UK’s only charity dedicated to both funding research and providing support for the huge number of individuals in the UK who have CF and their families who are affected on a daily basis by this condition. The album will feature artists from all over the world including Germany, Australia and America. Faith is an amazing song and the lyrics will resonate with many listeners of that I am sure. It is a highly polished song that will touch the heart and soul of all those who get the chance to listen to it. Hopefully radio stations will obtain a copy of this delightful song and play it to death helping to boost sales of the album Faith and to promote Luke Jackson’s career. This song has obviously been mastered and polished but Luke still sounds like Luke; nothing has been taken away from his unique mesmerising style. An uplifting song with very emotive lyrics.

A Letter From Rose was again written by Luke. This is a slow song with a real sentimental feel about it. Luke’s vocals are again raw and organic in the chorus but polished and soft in the verses. This is another heartfelt song that will tug at the heart strings of the listener. Luke is an amazing song writer; songs such as this song really highlight just how good he is.

Time To Change is another splendid song. Luke’s vocals are calm and relaxed on his beautiful song. Once again this song is packed full of amazingly constructed lyrics, that Luke effortlessly brings to life with his wonderful style and charm. This is a stunning song worthy of plenty of radio air play.

Can’t Breathe is one of Luke’s favourite songs by Welsh singer/song writer Martyn Joseph. Luke’s version of this song sees the song performed with a completely different style and slant. It takes on a life of its own and moves away from the gentle style of the original version of the song. Although Luke still keeps the song low key and quite organic in feel it manages to pick up some of Luke’s magic, which gives the song an added dimension and makes it sound more modern. Luke really shows when performing this song that he can really sing and sing well. I think Martyn Joseph would be pleased with this new version of his popular song.

After listening to Luke Jackson’s songs you will feel as a listener firstly blown away by his enormous talents as a singer and song writer, and also a guitarist and you will feel like you have been on a cathartic journey for the mind, body and soul. Luke’s songs are so refreshing and different from anything else out there at this point in time. His songs are rich with evocative lyrics and passionate vocals all of which help to bring them to life. Listening to Luke’s songs it is like Luke is in the room with you doing a one on one concert. Truly amazing stuff from one so young. Only time will tell what other treats this young man has in store for us as listeners!!!

Luke Jackson Song Review

Dancing Gerrard is an amazing song from talented singer/song writer Luke Jackson. The lyrics are so relevant – perfectly describing a night out on the town for many young people today. Luke cleverly fuses together quirky modern day lyrics, which on first listen have an upbeat feel and a sense of fun but listen closely and the lyrics also convey a sense of sadness and helplessness. Luke’s vocals are both sensitive and forceful at the same time allowing the listener to feel sorry for the subject of the song. Luke’s moving lyrics describe a person ‘Gerrard’ who wants to be the centre of attention and thinks he is well liked but in truth his actions just get him laughed at. At the end of the night he always goes home alone. A punchy interlude three-quarters of the way through lighten the mood of the song before it returns to a slower speed once again. Luke’s musical talents really shine through on this song.

Moments Gone is a slow drawn out song with a haunting feel. Luke’s vocals are gentle and the backing music is barely noticeable yet very much in evidence. A contradiction in terms but Luke’s vocals are so overwhelming they over shadow everything else. The lyrics are carefully constructed and of a very high standard. The song varies in pace throughout, starting off slow then picking up speed very gradually before slowing to almost a deathly stop at the end. As the song fades out, with a real sense of finality, listeners are left with a strange emptiness and a wanting for more. This is an infectious song that quickly gets under the listeners skin.

Lori Triplett CD Review

Lori Triplett
Safe Place To Land
Self-released 700261270531
Songs of innocence, love, salvation and life beautifully sung
Lori Triplett recorded her first independent album in 2004, in 2005 she moved to Nashville and in 2007 she graduated from college. Currently living in Tennessee Lori has just released album number two. Lori’s musical influences include the likes of Eva Cassidy, Jewel, Bethany Dillon and Shawn Colvin. Lori’s music combines rather effortlessly folk, country and pop. Lovely piano driven ballads provide the backbone of this album. Baby Is In Love starts the album off. This is a gentle airy number, pleasant on the ear. The backing music has a definite country feel to it. There are a lot of similarities between Lori’s musical style and that of the accomplished singer Vanessa Carlton. I Don’t Feel So Free is a stronger number with heavier backing. Safe Place To Land, the title song of the album, has a traditional country feel blending country with folk. A strong song to have as the title track. Autumn’s Song features some lovely music. With its modern country sound I am reminded of artists like Jessica Andrews and Lila McCann. The Verdict is a piano based song with a pop feel. The combination of piano and strings on this number offers a really dramatic sound. The End is a crackly number, which is both lyrically and musically dark. I Ain’t Gonna Hurt You is another more pop infused song. The final four songs on the album are perhaps the best and certainly worth the wait. Drifting is a delicate number and perhaps the best song on the entire album. Lori’s vocals on this number are simply stunning. Why is another excellent song with a slow country vibe. Lori emanates warmth in her vocals that envelops the listener. You Are is an engaging traditional country sounding song that sounds a lot like the music of Nickel Creek. Heart Of Stone is the final song on the album. A slow dramatic ballad aided by a beautiful string arrangement. The album ends on a high note leaving the listener wanting more.

Liz Longley CD Review

Title – Take You Down
Artist – Liz Longley
Label – Luckelizz Music
Catalogue Number – 82260582062
Rating – 5 stars

With looks similar to LeAnn Rimes, Liz Longley was voted number one all time female vocalist in’s acoustic category in 2006. Now working with acclaimed male artist John Meyer, Liz Longley’s album Take You Down is breathtakingly beautiful and lyrically outstanding.

Something You Should Know is a fantastic opening track. Liz has a delicate yet forceful voice. This is a catchy number with a truly modern feel. Although a lively number this song is full of gentle overtones.

Whatever Goes Up is a much slower number written by Liz. This is a tender ballad featuring Diane Monroe on violin. This sad track talks about how everything that goes up must come down ‘with a crash and a burn and a cry’.

Yes Or No picks up the pace once more. This track has a light, airy feel to it with catchy lyrics in the chorus. If you like breezy modern country then this is the song for you.

Different Love Song is a powerful ballad again written by Liz. Liz’s voice is allowed to shine through on this stunning track. This is a definite ten out of ten track – outstanding!

Devil On My Shoulder is a heavier track than the previous tracks on this album. There is a subtle touch of blues permeating throughout this track. This track shows another side to Liz’s vocal talents and it is a pleasing one. Take You Down is the title track of this album and was written by Liz and Bill Deasy. Again this is a much heavier number, which allows Liz to really amp up her vocals and show the world what she is made of.

Lose My Mind was written by Liz’s close friend Sarah Zimmermann, who also plays acoustic guitar on this gentle track. This is an enjoyable track, which sees the mood slowed down once again. The constant changes in pace throughout this album are what makes it stand out from the crowd. Liz keeps the listener on their toes throughout this album.

Answer Me is a striking number written by Liz. This song is full of powerful lyrics that will blow the listener away ‘oh my god you’re bleeding, just don’t open your eyes’. Liz’s voice is haunting on this poignant number that could easily bring a tear to the listener’s eye. This is one of the best emotional/moving songs I have heard in years. Song writing at its very best. For me this is the stand out song of the whole CD.

I’ll Be There sees Liz take a turn on the piano. This is another top notch emotional ballad. It would be so easy to compare Liz to the likes of SheDaisy or Faith Hill but that would be an unfair comparison to make. Liz is very much her own woman and her superior singing/writing talents speak for themselves.

Invisible is a cheery upbeat number, after two heartfelt ballads it is nice to have a fresh catchy number to lift the mood. Jane is another song written by Liz. Although an upbeat track this song contains some great lyrics, which deal with some difficult issues.

The final track on this ‘outstanding’ album is Circle Game, written by Joni Mitchel. This seems a fitting song to end such a brilliant collection of songs on. This album gives the listener something of an emotional rollercoaster ride and this parting offering is another beautiful and emotive song. Liz is joined on vocals by Sarah Zimmermann, who sounds very much like Linda Ronstadt. I look forward to hearing more from Sarah Zimmermann in the future. The guitar and bass on this track are unobtrusive allowing both Liz and Sarah’s voices to take centre stage.

At the end of the album you are left thinking ‘wow’. Plaudits aplenty for this twelve track masterpiece. Each and every song on this CD is a carefully crafted work of art lovingly woven together to create something special.

Lin McEwan – Lin McEwan CD Review

Lin McEwan – Lin McEwan

Listening to Lin McEwan’s album is like diving head first into a mug of frothy, streaming hot chocolate, rich in texture, aroma and taste. Her voice is sultry, husky, deep, soulful and very sensual reminding me of crushed black velvet. This is an album of pure indulgence like gorging on a box of your favourite chocolates. Lin’s voice melts even the hardest of hearts. With a voice reminiscent of Cher or Alison Moyet Lin successfully combines pop/rock with blues and occasionally along the way drops in a dash of jazz for good measure. This is an exciting album that stands out from the usual crowd of female singer/songwriter albums. This is an album of pure class, which offers something a little bit different and perhaps unexpected.

White Roses kicks off the album wonderfully and showcases Lin’s voice quite beautifully. A striking track that illustrates that this is going to be a truly individual and interesting album. This is a rousing track with heavy instrumental backing and a catchy chorus. This track would make a fantastic single or opener for any show; it has all the elements to be a big hit – great lyrics, a lively tune, a powerful chorus and Lin’s husky voice.

You Can Leave Your Hat On, written by Randy Newman and perhaps most recently known for the popular film The Full Monty (sung by Tom Jones) is given a blues make over on Lin’s debut album. Lin’s magical voice gives this old song an added dimension and allows Lin to make the song hers completely. Often when a singer covers an old or well known song they are unable to put their own mark on it but Lin is an exception to that rule. This song takes on a life of its own when put in Lin’s most capable hands. The song appears fresh and has a certain buzz about it. It is as if you as a listener are hearing the song for the very first time and what you are hearing is quite simply brilliant, there is no other word to describe it!

Excuses is a wonderful stand out track on the album and has a jazz vibe about it. Written by Sara Lynn Beck this track features some great lyrics that really make you stop and think. This is quite a lively track with heavy backing once again.

Ships Crashing sees a change in tempo; this is a much slower track with strong vocals from Lin. ‘Me and you were two ships crashing in the night’ is a poignant lyric that stands out in this song. This is a song packed full of raw emotion. Lin’s deep husky voice allows the emotion of the song to run free. As a listener you can really feel the emotion oozing from the lyrics of this song.

Over shifts the tempo back up a notch and again has hints of jazz mixed with pop and blues. Like the previous song - Ships Crashing, this song was written by Noam Weinstein.

Can’t Get Near You was co-written by Lin McEwan and Josh Dodes. This song follows a similar style to the opening track of the album and has a catchy chorus and heavy backing. I love the line ‘I can’t get near to you, I am just a face in your rear view’ – a great lyric!

I Could Lie To You is a duet featuring John Rochette and was written by Noam Weinstien. This song is beautiful, soulful and absolutely delightful. A delicate song, like a freshly cut flower. This has to be the stand out track of the album; it is worth purchasing a copy of the album just for this track it is that good. Lin’s voice is gentle and raw, oozing once again with pure unadulterated emotion. The voices of John and Lin work wonderfully together, blending together like some exotic wine. The music here is toned down and the vocals are stripped bare. John’s voice is light whilst Lin’s is deep and full of tenderness and affection. Passion pours from Lin’s voice. This song is so outstanding and so fragile it could easily have the listener in tears. This song most definitely touches a special place in the listener’s heart. It is like listening to two angels when Lin and John sing.

Unexpected was written solely by Lin and is another song that has a strong blues feel about it. Again here the music is toned down so that Lin’s voice is able to shine through. I am reminded here of the singer Sam Brown and her smash hit song – Stop.

Alias is a truly brilliant song written again by Lin. This shows Lin’s vocal talents off brilliantly. A striking chorus packed full of powerful lyrics really makes the listener stop and think. Lin takes centre stage in this song, with the music taking a back seat.

You Didn’t Love Me Back is the penultimate song on the album and shows a softer side to Lin once again. This is a haunting song with soft music and a powerful chorus line. As the song progresses the tempo of the song rises and Lin belts out the final verse of the song before returning to more haunting, gentle vocals. ‘I loved you but you didn’t love me back’ – I am sure many listeners will relate whole heartedly with those words.

All too soon the final track of the album emerges. Hope You Had Your Fun is another rousing blues influenced pop number with heavy backing. This song is a fitting song on which to end a tremendous album – it is lively and has a catchy chorus very much like the opening track.

Lin McEwan’s debut offering is truly fantastic there is no other word to describe it. It is one of those albums you could listen to over and over again and not get bored of it. Lin offers a fresh look at an old favourite, shows off her blues infused vocals and belts out a true rock power ballad. Her voice is deep and husky yet stripped bare on tracks like I Could Lie To You it is sensual, tender and haunting. If you like female vocalists with a bit of gumption then this is the album for you. This is one album that certainly stands out from the crowd and offers listeners a change from the usual hum drum of boring sound alike female singers.

Leah Pritchard - Demonstration From The Heart CD Review

Leah Pritchard - Demonstration From The Heart
Guest House Studios 845029093752
A voice that suits passion filled ballads
Leah Pritchard grew up in central Alabama; her life has always been full of country music from the likes of Hank Williams and Alabama to more modern singers like Miranda Lambert. Leah’s brand new mini album is a highly sophisticated affair, containing songs from the heart. Leah’s musical influences include Sugarland and Wynonna Judd. Stronger Than Your Whiskey is a stunning opening song with passionate vocals. Leah’s vocals have depth and a great deal of character. This is a powerful country ballad. Finally The Weekend is a faster modern country song reminiscent in style of Gretchen Wilson. City Lights is a slower song with a strong traditional country feel. Leah’s vocals are a delight to listen to on this musically rich number. Boston is another passion filled ballad full of rich lyrics and glorious vocals. Mason Jar has an acoustic sound. Leah’s vocals are gentle and delicate on this charming song. This song makes buying the album truly worthwhile! The final offering is an acoustic version of the opening song Stronger Than Your Whiskey. Leah’s vocals gain even more depth and class on this version of what was already a great song. Leah’s vocals really suit slow passion filled ballads as they are so enigmatic and rich. Leah also has a single out called Miracle In Your Eyes – A Wedding Song (Guest House Studios 885007015710). This is a beautiful ballad gushing with raw emotion and heart stopping lyrics. An amazing song sung beautifully.

Lauren Lee and Liberty Road CD Review

Lauren Lee and Liberty Road
2nd Floor
Self-released 884501141789
A highly polished pleasing and faultless second album
Lauren Lee and Liberty Road are from Oklahoma. Lauren began playing the fiddle at the age of thirteen, inspired by Alison Krauss. Lauren plays fiddle, viola and Mandolin in the band as well as being the bands lead vocalist. Lauren’s younger brother Sawyer plays guitar in the band. Robbie Lee, Lauren and Sawyer’s father plays percussion and finally Jerry Dilday, a friend of the Lee family, plays acoustic bass as well as taking a turn on vocals. The bands first album was released several years a go. This new album shows how the band have matured and developed as musicians and as people. River Road is a gentle flowing song, which sees Lauren taking centre stage on vocals. Lauren’s voice is delicate and charming. Empty Lonesome Sound (Crazy Chick Song) has a more modern feel to it. Once again Lauren takes the lead on this vocally lead song. Hickory Grove is a musical number with a catchy toe tapping beat. Give Her Wings sees Jerry Dilday on lead vocals with Lauren harmonising. Jerry’s voice is deep and clear in contrast to Lauren’s soft youthful sound. This is a great song. I’m Gonna Rise sees Lauren on lead vocals. Lauren’s voice is raspy on this particular number. Jerry provides harmony blending well with Lauren’s innocent voice. I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For will be a familiar song to many listeners just not in this format. Lauren and her band have turned a powerful rock song by U2 into a gentle traditional sounding country number. This transition seems to work well. Eisenheim's Greatest is another musical piece, which highlights the bands talents as musicians. The piece seems to stop and start giving it added depth. Take All The Sky You Need sees Lauren taking centre stage. Her quiet vocals on this particular song will remind the listener of the early work of Jewel. Ava’s Reel is as the title suggests another musical piece, which is lively and entertaining. Waitin’ For The Wind sees Jerry on lead vocals for the final time on this album with Lauren harmonising. It is easy to see the influence of Ricky Skaggs in this song. Jesus Loves Me brings the album to an end. Lauren’s voice is allowed to really stand out on this number. The backing is light and unobtrusive. This album pulls together many styles of music. A thoroughly pleasing and faultless album.

Laura Tsaggaris CD Review

Laura Tsaggaris
Keep Talking
Moon Punk Music 884501109291
Laura’s vocal talents will warm the heart – they are so full of depth and character
Raised in Pittsburgh Laura Tsaggaris was a talented young athlete who left college with a degree in finance. Before leaving college Laura’s father gave her a gift – a guitar, that gift started Laura’s passion with music. Laura used the guitar as a way of working out her anxieties. Whilst working for a law firm in Washington Laura recorded her first album entitled PROOF. Following a tour to promote the album Laura decided to make music her full time occupation and started work on KEEP TALKING, her latest offering. Laura provides vocals and not surprisingly plays guitar on the album. Laura’s influences include Jeff Buckley, REM, Lucinda Williams, Suzanne Vega and Aimee Mann. Laura is joined on the album by Rob Clay, Sam Clowney and Bill Eagan. Warning Signs starts off the album. This is a catchy song and Laura’s voice has a delicate quality about it. Out Of My Mind is a pleasant song with a strong alt-country feel. Roads is a slower number, enjoyable and certainly a song worth several listens. Go And Do Everything (Again) sees the tempo rise once again. Another catchy song that is pleasant on the ear. The title number Keep Talking is a fine slow number. Laura proves on this song alone that she is a highly talented artist. The Politician is more of a pop/rock infused song but it still retains Laura’s trademark qualities. Red Hair is a striking song; Laura’s vocals remind me greatly of Suzanne Vega on this number. Under The Gun has more of a country/rock feel. This is another highly octave song. Winner’s Curse follows on in a similar vain. Get Yourself Right is a slow song. Laura’s vocals are rich and full of depth and character on this beautiful number. Catastrophic is another charming offering which allows Laura’s vocals to take centre stage. Laura’s voice is such a pleasure to listen to. Pilots has little backing allowing Laura’s vocals to guide the listener to the end of the album.

Laura Critchley CD Review

Label – Big Print
Catalogue No – BPRCDA1

Album review of Laura Critchley – Sometimes I

The story behind Laura Critchley’s debut album seems a magical one – the stuff fairy tales are made of. Laura and her music were discovered through her MySpace internet page; she was signed by independent record label Big Print Music and is now managed by Jeremy Marsh. Late last year her debut album – Sometimes I was released. She has supported the Sugarbabes on tour and performed on stage with Ronan Keating, who is apparently a huge fan of Laura’s music. Karen Carpenter is Laura’s biggest musical inspiration so much so that there is a song dedicated to Karen on the album. Laura also notes Mariah Carey as a big inspiration in her musical journey and Leanne Rimes, Carole King and Alison Moyet as musical influences.

Four female artists came to mind when I first played Laura’s CD – Faith Hill, Leanne Rimes, Olivia Newton-John and Sheena Easton. Laura’s vocal talents seem to touch on all four of these wonderful female artists during the length of the album. It is easy to see how people like Carole King and Leanne Rimes have influenced Laura’s style. That said Laura has a voice very much of her own. Although the tempo of this album does not change much throughout this is a good high quality album full of strong vocals and interesting songs. This isn’t just another female singer/songwriter trying to make a name for herself – this is a singer/songwriter with bags of talent and a voice to match. Laura is someone who deserves to be heard and deserves to make a big name for herself in the world of music.

Although Laura’s debut offering has been labelled as a ‘pop’ record she would not sound out of place being played alongside the likes of Faith Hill, Jessica Andrews or Leanne Rimes on a country show. Her slow ballads could certainly give Faith or Leanne a run for their money.

The opening track on this CD is called – Today’s Another Day, a lively number reminiscent of Faith Hill’s – This Kiss. It has catchy lyrics and a pleasant melody. Shoulder To Lean On, is an up-tempo track which shows a different side to Laura’s vocals. It is on this track that I am first reminded of Sheena Easton.

What Do We Do is a slower track about a failing romance. All of the tracks on this album are co-written by Laura. David Whitmey helped out with the writing on this emotional track. This is definitely one of the stand out tracks on the album. I’ll Be Ok is another song about romance and failing love affairs. Love and romance seem to be the key theme throughout this album that said this is not an album of slushy romantic songs that people will cringe over. This is a strong set of songs with punchy lyrics and clever hooks. I’ll Be Ok is a song that will resonate with anyone who has been in a failed relationship.

Sometimes I, the albums title track is a gentle number which shows off Laura’s delicate vocals. This is a nice track to listen to on a hot summer’s day when you are on the beach as if gently floats along.

Tell Me has a strong chorus and is a song about mistakes and begging for someone to give ‘the other person’ a second chance. “I keep making all the same mistakes again” Laura sings in the opening line of the song. Don’t we all when we are in love?

That Kinda’ Love is another gentle song, which shows off Laura’s softer vocals. This is another song that plays heavily on the theme of love, but it is not a mushy song by any means. Country singer Jessica Andrews springs to mind on this track.

Superstar is a magical song dedicated to Karen Carpenter. This song has been featured on Mojo’s play list and it is easy to see why. This is an outstanding song that really shines on what is a highly polished album. This song has lovely vocals and lyrics that really come from the heart.

Don’t Say is another song about love and romance, about being wanted but not being wanted by the other person. This song is lively and has cleverly crafted lyrics.

Girl Next Door is a fantastic song with very subtle lyrics – “people always try and place me in a category in little boxes that’s as far as they can see, pigeonholing and controlling all I do” I think a lot of girls will be able to relate to those words. This song is a strong contender for a single in the future I would think. Another of the highlights of this album.

Incredible shows how Carole King’s influence has rubbed off on Laura. Laura fluctuates on this song between strong, loud vocals and soft delicate vocals.

The album ends with a truly beautiful song that tugs at the heartstrings called Lullaby. This is a soft heart warming song that brings a tear to the eye. It is worth buying the album just to hear this particular song. The simple lyrics and soft instrumentation on this song really bring the emotion out in Laura’s voice.
A fantastic song to finish off a classy collection of songs!

Laura has worked hard to get where she is now and this album is the produce of her fruits of hard labour. From gigs in local pubs to being discovered on the internet, from the support of local radio stations and papers to being critically acclaimed by the likes of Ronan Keating. Sometimes I is a remarkable debut album which showcases Laura’s obvious talents. It will be interesting to see how she develops and if she can become a household name.

Laura Allen - Standing CD Review

Standing is an outstanding collection of ten songs that cleverly fuses together a blend of modern country with Christian pop/rock to produce something quite magnificent. The songs on this album have a fresh feel about them; they are both uplifting and full of emotion. They offer the listener an intoxicating mix of power, passion, faith and humanity. Laura’s vocals are powerful and aggressive when needed on lively songs yet delicate and warming to the soul on softer numbers, which speak of faith and religion.

The album gets off to a cracking start with the opening number entitled Georgia. This is a lively song written by Laura. The chorus is catchy and the music is upbeat throughout. This is a typical singer/songwriter song. Listening to this opening number you know that you are listening to something special. It is the first of many treats on this delightful album.

Riverside, again written by Laura, is another punchy song brimming with angst. This song has quite heavy backing music but it never gets in the way of Laura’s vocals, which are strong and forceful throughout. Comparisons could be made between Laura’s vocal style and that of the pop singing sensation Avril Lavigne on this number.

Like A Rose is a slightly slower number than the previous two songs. The chorus is quite beautiful and packed full of emotion and passion. Laura’s vocals really invite the listener to pay close attention to the lyrics and to feel the passion that oozes from every word that she sings. This song is one that will linger in the listener’s heart and mind long after the last note of music has been played.

I Walk sees the mood of the album change once again. This song is another one with heavy backing music but it never overshadows Laura’s lovely voice. Laura dedicates this album to Jesus and I believe this song has been heavily influenced by religion and her faith.

Hide Away is more of a dreamy number and sees a change in mood and style once again. Laura’s vocals have a much softer feel to them on this song. There is a nice use of the piano on this track giving the song extra depth and character. Listening to this highly attractive number I find myself drawing comparisons in style and sound between Laura and the talented Australian singer Delta Goodrem. This song is possibly my favourite song of the ten songs on this album because it is totally different to the nine other songs. The music and lyrics resonated with me and this song touched a special place in my heart.

Coram Deo was written by Laura Allen and arranged by Rocky Presley who also produced this album. This is another top quality song that oozes with strong emotions. This song has a fantastic string interlude three quarters of the way through. The use of the strings in this song gives it an extra special dimension and a really clever and sophisticated sound.

I’m Still In Line is another song where religion and faith seems to have influenced the lyrics. The lyrics and music for this song were written by Laura Allen and Rocky Presley.

My Window, written by Laura, is a hauntingly beautiful song, which features more fantastic string instrumentation. This is a lovely ballad that you just wish as a listener would go on for just a little bit longer so you can hear more of Laura’s angelic vocals.

Blessed, once again written by Laura, is a song that deals with the subject of faith. This is a gentle number that touches on religion but never rams religion and/or faith down the listener’s throat. This song is quite lovely and very delicate in style and tone. Laura’s voice is soft and vibrant.

Dream completes the ten songs on this fabulous album. Laura’s voice is fragile and so honest on this final number. Dream is a light song to end the album on but the lyrics are still bursting with emotion and passion. As Laura’s voice finally disappears and the music fades away into nothing the listener is left crying out for more, much more.

Standing is an exciting album because it is full of carefully crafted songs that fill the listener with emotion and gives the listener a chance to reflect on faith and religion. The ten songs on this album vary in style and pace giving the listener an enjoyable ride. Laura’s song writing talents are evident throughout this album as are her vocal talents, which speak for themselves. Laura’s vocals are heart warming and angelic one minute yet full of angst the next. This album screams out quality. This is a truly charming album jam packed full of magical songs, which convey great depth and maturity. Each and every one of the ten songs on this album are good and worthy of a place on this album. Music at its finest!

Lara Landon EP Review

Lara Landon
New Reality International 884502054958
Top class song writing and outstanding vocals make this truly amazing
How do you know when you have found something amazing? In listening to up-and-coming female artist Lara Landon’s five track EP I know I have found something that extra bit special. As a prelude to her first full length album entitled BELOVED, which will be out in September this year, Lara has pulled together five self-penned songs and issued them as an EP. Perhaps more pop than country I believe this EP could sit fit into the genre of modern country. Lara’s vocals convey an obvious passion for the songs that she sings. Lara has been song writing for four years and playing the piano for twelve. Her songs are quite dark echoing the tests in life that have made Lara the person she is today. As an adolescent Lara had to overcome depression and anxiety. These past experiences along with her questions about god have allowed her to put her heart and soul into the songs that she now writes. Lara’s family background can only aid her music – her fathers roots are in Jordan and her mother comes from a Sicilian bloodline. Shrowded In Mystery is a fast-paced song. Lara’s vocals remind me of a cross between Sarah McLachlan and Sian Evans (from the hit group Kosheen). The piano plays a large role in all of Lara’s songs. For You sees the mood toned down slightly. This is a glorious song, which oozes with passion. Lara’s vocals are magical – just the right balance between delicate and forceful. Certainly a stand out track. The chorus is stunning, with fine lyrics and some highly polished vocals. Show Me Where is one of those songs that will get under the listeners skin. More top class song writing makes this song outstanding. Lara’s vocals are emotive and strong. There are hints of Dido and Sarah McLachlan scattered throughout this song. This song would do well as a single I am sure of that. I’ve Never Been is a piano driven ballad again in the style of Sarah McLachlan. In fact I think Lara could give Sarah McLachlan a real run for her money with this dreamy song. Emotion pours from every note played on the piano and every word that leaves Lara’s mouth. Absolutely stunning! One listen to this song will not be enough. I See God In You is a much heavier track but it is once again full of superb lyrics. There are some really heavenly moments contained in this song. Lara’s vocals are allowed to shine brightly on this final offering. Roll on September that is all I can say!!!!