Album Review: Moving, Not Leaving by Cantrell Maryott

Album Name: Moving, Not Leaving
Artist: Cantrell Maryott
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

Buy the CD

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Cantrell Maryott has released a very nice jazzy pop (or is that poppy jazz?) record.

She has a clear smooth voice that at times reminds me of Emmylou Harris, especially on “Carry On” which has some really nice harmonization.

In looking at her web site, she seems a really interesting person. Not only does she put out jazz records, but she also does chanteling. This is described on her site as “…singing the songs of sacred spaces. It is about hearing voice reflected in a room, it is as much the sound of the room as it is the song.” She is also a mixed media artist…sort of sculptures, hard to describe. So clearly a very talented woman. Oh and she co-wrote all the songs on this record. Quite impressive I must say.

The songs are nice, melodic and easy going. This recording is very relaxing.

Stand out songs: “Carry On” and “Three Miles into New Mexico”

Posted on February 21, 2006

Comments:

Rating: 4 Stars
Comment: Beautiful voice. I listened to her cd several weeks ago playing it repeatedly one bright sunday. for the rest of the week her songs stayed with me particularly the cut Long Way Home.Nice,tight,finely crafted music. The last song On This Morning was very evocative,I felt like I was suspended beneath a jeweled night sky. I look forward to her next cd.
name: T. Wolf McArdle on Friday, March 10, 2006

Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: The first time I heard “Amelie” I cried. Every time I hear it now, it’s like running into a dear friend I haven’t seen in several years.Magic.
name: Rome Hamner on Sunday, March 12, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Do You Remember
2. Carry On
3. Amelie
4. Fire in the Heart
5. Three Miles into New Mexico
6. Long Way Home
7. Forever
8. Home
9. On This Morning

[Cantrell Maryott Official Site]

[wp_campaign_1]

Album Review: Grrrls with Guitars Vol. 3 by Various Artists

Album Name: Grrrls with Guitars Vol. 3
Artist: Various Artists
Year/Label: 2006 / Maximum Music Group

[Buy at Maximum Music Group ]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

When I got this CD, I took a look at the artists here and had heard of only one of them! I saw Coco Love Alcorn many years ago when she opened for Ani DiFranco. I was pretty blown away, but it seemed she had kind of disappeared. So I was looking forward to hearing her here. I was not disappointed. I think her contribution “She’s Beautiful” happens to be my personal favorite here.

Most of the songs on this compilation fall into the rock-folk genre. But there is also a touch of bluegrass, country, swing, and jazz.

Another one that really stood out to me was “Day 4” by Christa Couture. She has a very appealing, comforting voice.

“Big Wet Moon” is by Nadine Davenport who is the brains (labor?) behind this whole compilation and the showcase behind it. This is a really fun song too.

This is a very nice combination of artists, styles and songs. Anyone looking to learn about new artists should definitely check this out.

Posted on February 21, 2006

Comments:

Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: Barley Wik can rock me to sleep any day.
name: honeypie Thursday, February 23, 2006

Track Listing
1. Lavina Brown – Anne-Louise Genest
2. Diamonds – Shiloh Lindsey
3. She’s Beautiful – Coco Love Alcorn
4. Slim Pickins – Kim Barlow
5. Empty Boxes – Taylor James
6. Let’s Call It a Day – Rae Armour
7. Release Me – Hector
8. Big Wet Moon – Nadine Davenport
9. It’s Raining Again – Yael Wand
10. Bad Luck Day Baby – Po’ Girl
11. Perception – Green Tara
12. Ten Thousand Miles – Loud
13. This Time I’ll Forgive You… Again – Ash Riot
14. Leslie – Kristia Di Gregorio
15. No Hope in Hell – Barley Wink
16. Day 4 – Christa Couture

[Grrrls with Guitars Official Site]

Album Review: Chronology by Frances Mai-Ling

Album Name: Chronology
Artist: Frances Mai-Ling
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

Buy the CD

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

Frances Mai-Ling is one of the first artists I ever spotlighted on Collected Sounds six years ago when this site began. So we’ve kind of worked together lo these many years. But she’s been making music for even longer than I’ve known her.

The record opens with a spoken word piece called “WALLS”. It’s lovely.

She has said herself that singing is not her strong suit, that she considers herself a pianist first. But I will say that her voice has improved. It sounds very nice especially on Track 3 where there’s a nice soft touch to it. That’s really a very pretty song all around. The piano part is enchanting.

One thing that has not changed is that she remains a very good piano player. These songs are beautifully written, complex and interesting.

“The Girl” is one track that’s been on other releases in the past. It’s an upbeat interesting song. Interesting in that it’s got different movements…she could have taken this song and written at least two different ones, but she put them in one. I like it when that happens.

“Firecracker” has the most amazing intro. I just love it! In fact the entire piano part and melody are fantastic. I think this is my favorite vocal song on this record.

“Understatement” sounds to me like it belongs in a film. She makes great use of the minor notes and dissonant chords. This is my favorite instrumental piece here.

I think this is Frances Mai-Ling’s best release yet. I’m really enjoying it.

Posted on February 21, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. WALLS
2. Homage
3. Hold On
4. The Girl
5. Tears In My Palm
6. Firecracker
7. Not To Be This Way
8. Conversations By Myself #9
9. Understatement
10. The Commitment Song

[Frances Mai-Ling Official Site]

Help Me Chill

Thanks to the Nerina Pallot mailing list I’ve just learned about a new Internet radio station that I think is pretty cool. It’s called Chill. It’s actually a satellite radio station, but you can listen online. The only problem is it doesn’t work in Mozilla. So load up your computer with Spyware Blaster , Ad-Aware and Spybot and then open IE and go to: http://www.helpmechill.com/

Note: I’m not saying the web page puts Spyware on your system, I’m saying that IE is not safe. I don’t use it unless I absolutely have to.

Album Review: What Would You Believe by Patricia Ossowski

Album Name: What Would You Believe
Artist: Patricia Ossowski
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

Buy the CD

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

After offering to review this CD I found out that Patricia Ossowski’s previous release, “My Best Mask On” was reviewed here by Anna Maria back in December of 2001. The only thing Anna Maria would change it to make it longer. That seems to be a common complaint on EPs. Interesting how the ones that deserve to be full length often are not! But that’s not the case here. This is a regular full -length record and it’s wonderful. It even has a bonus track!

I would describe the music as intricately layered piano pop. Some of the songs are a tad spooky and mysterious. I am reminded of Evanescence on “Broken Me”.

While some are pretty straight Intellipop.

She ends the CD, with a cute (and I don’t mean that disrespectfully) little song called “I Wish”. It’s got a very sweet old tymie feel. The lyrics are hilarious…if youv’e got a strange sense of humor. I obviously do.

Piano is her primary instrument and she plays very well.

I also like the way the songs are put together. The lyrics, to the melodies, arrangements and vocals…a first rate act.

Ossowski’s voice is very likeable and matches the music wonderfully no matter which style she’s creating from song to song.

The sound of the record in general is very polished and professional, very nice and sometimes hard to do for an indie artist.

This is a great release and I encourage you to give it a spin.

Posted on February 14, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. True
2. Lucky Me
3. Luminous
4. That Line
5. Save It
6. Please Don’t Go
7. Broken Me
8. Bleed You Dry
9. Fade
10. On A Sea
11. I Wish

[Patricia Ossowski Official Site]

[wp_campaign_1]

Album Review: Chaotic Resolve by Plumb

Album Name: Chaotic Resolve
Artist: Plumb
Year/Label: 2006 / Curb Records

[Buy at Amazon]

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I’ve heard the name Plumb bandied about for the last few years. But I’ve never gone to the trouble to look her/them up. So I was sort of excited to see this record show up. I’ve always been curious. I read the accompanying press release and saw that she is known as a Christian singer. This gave me pause, because most artists who call themselves “Christian” end up playing music I’m not fond of. Not so here. Whew!

Plumb’s actual name is Tiffany Arbuckle Lee. As far as I know, there is no relation to Amy Lee of Evanescence, even though the comparisons don’t stop there. They even look similar with their black hair and lovely light eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard/read the comparison when actually Amy Lee states that Plumb is an inspiration to her. Yes, folks, Plumb came first. That said, really, their styles are quite similar. I would say Plumb’s music is not quite as hard. I would not classify it as metal, but more hard, haunting rock. But at times it can also sound almost AAA. No matter what you call it, it’s beautiful.

Plumb can rock out with the best of them, but I tend to like this most when she’s just playing the piano and singing her gorgeous ballads. “Cut” is one of these. It is achingly beautiful. Actually reminds me of Sarah McLachlan when she hits the high lilting notes. She has truly got an amazing voice. I could listen to her all day.

Since I’ve never heard any other albums by Plumb, I can’t compare. I can just tell you that if you’ve been curious about her, it’s time to check out this record. Get your hands on this; you won’t want to put it down (so to speak).

Posted on February 14, 2006

Track Listing
1. Blush (Only You)
2. I Can’t Do This
3. Real Life Fairytale
4. Better
5. Manic
6. Cut
7. Bittersweet
8. Good Behaviour
9. Motion
10. I Have Nothing
11. Jekyll & Hyde
12. Sleep
13. Damaged (Bonus Track)

[Plumb Official Site]

[wp_campaign_1]