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Good sounds, but no evolution in styles for Alannah
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 11/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The fourth album by Alannah Myles, that bluesy-rock woman with the image of a nomad troubadour, fiercely independent, someone's who's drunk deep from life's bittersweet water, singing songs of the nightlife, and still has a "life goes on" mindset. She gets some notable names on songwriting on her sole go-around on Ark-21 Records, in which she sticks to her usual style without much experimenting that she did in Alannah."Motherload" begins with a cacophony of Middle Eastern sounds before going into her usual sound, highlighted by a blaring and grinding electric guitar. This song was co-written by her and Maia Sharp."Bad 4 U," co-written between her, Eric Bazilian, and Desmond Child, is a raging rocker where she warns a prospective suitor that she's an "out-of-control freak" who doesn't tolerate fools lightly, giving him such warnings as "I'll put a hole in your heart ten foot wide." Her voice matches the power of the guitars which sport a Hooters meets AC-DC sound, no smooth black velvet here. Bazilian does the guitar and harmonica here. A standout track, although I'll steer very clear of the character of this song.The slow, melancholy "The Dance of Love" is an acoustic number set in a suburb of Warsaw peopled with the dispossessed. Her voice is huskier and melodic here."The Great Divide" is her usual bluesy-rock with blaring guitar about someone who describes herself as a fallen angel. Some goofy lyrics with religious themes appear here, accompanied by some really heavy guitar: "bank of karma won't loan/your yin won't yang/the bed don't bang/and the springs don't sprang/again and again and ahhhhhh." Someone take the bottle of black velvet away from her please-she's lost it. Just kidding, as it's another standout track.The character in "Chained (Final Rescue)" is a fiercely independent person who does whatever she wants, doesn't want to be tied down, and is cynical of heroes and self-proclaimed saviours, and even the law. "Watch out for heroes lookin' for a deed/beware of crusaders meeting your need/watch out for fixers when you're not even broke" she warns.`Why Have Angels Denied You" sports a swamp blues sound and describes the attempts of a woman who wants someone to open up emotionally.Alannah's voice is alternately tender and hoarsely intense in the piano ballad "What Am I Gonna Do With You?" Another standout cut that depicts emotional draining after what one's gone through: "It's so hard to fall after what's fallen through" she sings, and then asks not only the title but also "What am I gonna do about the way that I feel?""Everything's Missing" is another mid-paced blaring guitar blues song. Then comes a folky mandolin song coupled with her usual blues spiced with the cynical observation that "Kisses Are Weapons." Like roses and the thorns on them, she further describes the dichotomy of kisses. They are "beautiful and sharp" but also "weapons of the heart" and "weapons whether we win or we lose." They make enemies or lovers of people. A bitter standout cut here."Honesty" is a folk/country song with acoustic guitar, with an electric solo in the middle. As a lonely troubadour, she asks "Did I strike the chord of honesty in you?", wondering further if it elicited "a bout of lust between true love."A racing acoustic Peter Paul and Mary-like number, "Yellow Roses" describes the title flower as that of unrequited love and as a thorn in one's heart that protects one from further pain. The songwriting is good, with her usual rocking blues, the ballad highlighting her emotional voice. The folkish sound sported on the last two songs shows potential material or a shift in sound for a future album, if there will be another one."
What a voice, what a daring album
Jules Houben | The hague Netherlands | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Her burden of being a little bit of a one hit wonder, is a huge shame for both the music industry as well us listeners. This woman knows rock and she knows how to portray it. This should have been the big return album to the spotlight, but unfortunately failed. Why? Because there is just too much GOOD music on this disc, which can't be eaten by the big mass. The variety of styles and the way she's able to adapt her voice to her lyrics is an ansolute stunner. She can be a screaming rockvamp one minute and continue with a voice that would put a baby to sleep 'till she grabs you by the throat to make you listen to her. What a voice what an expression what an absolute stunner of an album - the best kept secret in roch history is called arival - But don't worry apparently Alannah Myles is producing an album as we speak and I am sure she will be back where she belongs, at the Grammy's for an award."
Hilla | Israel | 08/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved Alannah Myles' music since "Black Velvet" in 1990. I have all of her albums, and I love them all. She's creative, outspoken, outgoing... in a nutshell, spectacular. But this album inspires some sort of erosion, it repeats the patters that made the others succesful and doesn't have anything new in it to show the development Alannah claims to have underwent."