Wednesday, 17 October 2012

State of Undress - Journeys of the Heart

A lively album containing several absolute treasures
Dorset based band State of Undress return with another delightful collection of folk/country songs on their new album JOURNEYS OF THE HEART. With each album the band seems to grow and their music seems to get stronger and bolder. Charlie Rose takes charge of lead vocals on the majority of songs on this album. The album begins with The Hangman’s Daughter written by Charlie and Alan Rose. Charlie’s vocals are uplifting and charming. The musical interlude three-quarters of the way through this opening song is in itself quite stunning and well worth a listen. Rock It! has quite a modern feel, easy on the ear this is quite a captivating song. The Black Hills of Mendip was written by band member Jerry Bird. This song is very atmospheric and worthy of several plays. She Rides So Graceful sees Alan on lead vocals. Alan’s vocals are earthy and raw. This is a lovely folk song with a gorgeous instrumental half way through. Second Time Around is a slow folk song with Charlie on lead vocals. Charlie’s vocals are very different and quite infectious. It All Comes Down To Love sees Malcolm Windett on lead vocals. This is a slow folk/country song also written by Malcolm. The lyrics are very succinct and quite powerful. This is definitely one of the highlights on this action packed album. Listening to Malcolm I am reminded of James Taylor and his warming vocal style. Wagon Wheel sees Charlie taking the lead once more. This is a more up-tempo song with a fast beat. Invisible is another charming song with a strong country feel. Charlie’s vocals are stripped bare allowing them to shine. Enigmatic and delicate this song really tugs at the hug strings! Are We Alright is a popular Steve Knightley/Show of Hands song. Alan puts his own spin on this classic folk/rock song. Maybe not as edgy as the original but it still packs a punch. Wildwood is an upbeat folk song with cheery vocals provided by Charlie. The album comes to a close with The Keys Of Canterbury a brilliant folk song performed by Charlie and Alan. Once again as with previous albums the best has been saved till last. This album definitely takes listeners on a journey and it is with regret that the album has to come to an end. 

Beautiful Maybe - Marlee Scott

Amazing album jammed full of wonderful songs
Marlee Scott always wanted to be a singer. Born in Ontario Marlee moved to Alberta at the age of six. Her teenage years were spent taking vocal lessons and learning how to play the guitar. 2007 saw Marlee move to Nashville, after months writing and recording she was spotted by veteran industry executive Gerry Leiske. He saw Marlee’s potential leading to the release of her self-titled debut album. Now sees the release of BEAUTIFUL MAYBE a stunning album packed with twelve great songs. Jane Doe gets the album under way. Marlee has a thoroughly modern vocal sound but there is something quite special about her vocals that it is hard to put your finger on. She has depth and puts emotion into every word. This is quiet a heavy song with belting vocals and powerful backing instrumentation. I Love Hating You is more of a traditional modern country song. An upbeat catchy song with quirky lyrics. I Won’t Love You Anymore is a slower song, which showcases Marlee’s astounding vocal ability. This is an excellent song with a strong edge. Marlee sounds a little like Lee Ann Womack but with a stronger, harsher voice. I’m Not Your Baby Anymore is a beautiful song, quite breathtaking. A slow country song with delicate vocals. Definitely a stand out track and a highlight of the album. Let It Rain is a strong modern country song. This song has plenty of potential as a future single. Planet Of Your Own is a heavier song with a thoroughly modern feel. Rhinestone In The Rough is in the style of early Miranda Lambert on one of her heavier songs. Crazy For You is a wonderful song with a strong pop feel. This up-tempo number is catchy and quite fun to listen to. It is quite different from the other songs on the album but it doesn’t spoil the album’s continuity. Kiss Of Coming Home sees the mood slow. This is a gentle ballad with a strong country feel. Train Wreck picks up the pace once again. Marlee’s vocals are powerful and quite infectious. Life Is Not A Movie is another slow song with lovely vocals. Picking up pace as the song progresses this is another song that would do well in both the pop and country charts. Beautiful Maybe brings the album to a close. The title song is lively and upbeat with touches of Lee Ann Womack once again. It was well worth leaving this song until the end of the album. Many new young female country singers all sound the same; it is hard to tell one from the other. Marlee, however, has distinct vocals and is definitely one of watch. A splendid album that you won’t be able to put down! 

Marlee Scott - Marlee Scott

A fantastic debut album full of promise and potential
Marlee Scott’s self-titled debut album showcases Marlee’s amazing vocal talents and her passion for music. The album starts off with a lovely slow country song entitled Reality. Marlee’s vocals are fine tuned and sound rather delightful. This opening song has plenty of depth and emotion, a modern country song that sounds fresh and quite dreamy. Been There is an up-tempo country song with a catchy beat. Perhaps a little typical of modern country songs, this song has a definite pop edge. Fight With You is another up-tempo country song. Marlee’s distinct vocals start to come through on this song, showcasing her true potential as a strong country singer. If Love Isn’t Everything is a lovely slow song with a strong pop feel echoed in the backing instrumentation. There is a touch of Faith Hill in Marlee’s vocals. A glorious song that draws the listener in. You’re So Sexy is a rather quirky country song with some wonderfully amusing lyrics. The backing instrumentation suggests a hint of Shania Twain. This is a great entertaining song. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is an excellent slow song that listeners will thoroughly enjoy. A top class song that lingers on long after it has ended. 5 O’Clock Dance is a rousing country song with a heavier feel. Quite infectious and catchy. I Hold Your Hand is another excellent slow song that sounds classy and very emotive. Quite beautiful, I am reminded of Lee Ann Womack here. Miss Your Kiss is a lively pop/country song. The final offering Later On is simply stunning. Beautiful vocals and gentle backing instrumentation bring this wonderful song to life. Marlee’s vocals are outstanding. Later On is definitely the highlight on what is a glorious album packed full of knock out tracks. 

Dahlia Wakefield - Full Circle

A lovely selection of songs with a couple of really high quality stand out tracks
Dahlia Wakefield hails from Alberta, Canada and has a superb voice that effortlessly blends together country and pop. Her latest album FULL CIRCLE features eight memorable songs all written or at least co-written by Dahlia. The album begins with a reggae infused pop/country song called Lazy Days of Summer. A simple song with a catchy beat. Strength in Adversity is a slower rocky song with solid vocals. Dahlia’s voice is delightful to listen to; she can deliver a rocky pop/country song just as easy as she can deliver a slow ballad. Simple Things is an up-beat song, easy on the ear. Definitely one that would do well if it was played on the radio a few times! Every now and then there are hints of Kelly Clarkson in Dahlia’s vocals. This is not a bad thing as Kelly has an amazing vocal range. Right Here With You is another pop infused song. Written solely by Dahlia the vocals alternate between wispy and quite rocky. Beautiful is a stunning slow song, which allows Dahlia to show off her pure, quite angelic country/pop vocals. Definitely a stand out track. Picking up the pace three-quarters of the way through this song ends on more of a rocky note. Alan Tymofichuk plays acoustic and electric guitar on this song. The mood changes on Magic Wand; this is a powerful rocky infused pop song. If you were a fan of the Grammy award winning hit Black Velvet by Alannah Myles then you will definitely love this song. It has similar characteristics and Dahlia provides some engaging husky vocals. Winter in Alberta is another excellent song with a lovely country/pop feel. Once again Alan Tymofichuk plays acoustic and electric guitar giving the song added depth and atmosphere. The final song on the album The Bird Flies Away was written by Dahlia and Kim Ilene McDaniel. A beautiful country song with a lovely melody. This is a real gem and rounds the album off nicely. 

Weird Emporium

Weird Emporium offers customers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to view, browse and buy alternative gothic, steampunk, metal wear and ethnic clothing and accessories. If you prefer to shop on-line Weird Emporium offers internet users an on-line service via their website, where most items that are sold in the shop can be purchased. Customers are also invited to ring the shop directly, where an order can be taken over the phone. Stocking many top named brands Weird Emporium also sells a number of handmade one of a kind items. Although only a small shop it is packed to the rafters with great items – all of top quality. If you are shopping for a present for that someone special then Weird Emporium is a great place to go. When you hear the words gothic, steampunk and metal wear you may think that’s not for me or that it is a style that suits only certain people – this is not the case as you will see from a visit to the shop.  Medieval influenced gothic clothes for example look great on a variety of people and are becoming ever more fashionable. Weird Emporium also stocks a lovely selection of jewellery from rings to necklaces, pendants to watches and ear rings to bracelets. Other items you will find in the shop include belt buckles and bags of all shapes and sizes. The ethnic range includes tie dye tops, cotton wrapped skirts and kaftans. Gift vouchers are now available from the shop starting at £5 so if you are not sure what gift to get you can always purchase a voucher to be redeemed at a later date. A visit to Weird Emporium is aided by friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to advise and answer any questions. As soon as you walk through the door you know you are in somewhere special, a little slice of alternative heaven!

Weird Emporium
No 2 & 3
The Arcade
29c Wood Street

Tel: 01793 432942