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Varied, Vibrant and Unique
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Australian artist Max Sharam doesn't seem to have done much since "A Million Year Girl", her debut album. And it's a shame, because alongside the smash single "Coma", which showcases Max's unusual vocal talents, are tracks which play, in retrospect, like a mellower Alanis. Like Alanis, too, Max can do extraordinary things with her voice; she bends notes and pitch with alarming versatility.The tracks she wrote herself are largely the best ones; "Alice" is soft with characteristically thoughtful lyrics, while "Can I Catch Fire?", "Huntingground" and "Coma" are closer to the Alanis "angry young woman" image. But don't get me wrong; Max is not a mere precursor to Morissette; her sound is vastly different, employing a mix of different guitar, keyboarding and vocal styles, as well as a few more unusual elements like harps, french horns and the odd sound effect for good measure.All that, and there's a ! brilliant cover of Melanie's "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" and the wonderfully sentimental "Is it Okay if I Call You Mine?". Check it out; Max is unique."
A little uneven, but a daring album all the same.
C. James Brown | Newtown, NSW Australia | 01/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a sad thing when an artist isn't embraced by even her home country. Australia's reception to Max gave her a few singles, but not nearly enough credit for an album which stands comparison to the first albums of such singers as Aimee Mann and Jill Sobule.The blend of rock tracks and ballads is a tad uneven, which makes for a tough listen. "Be Firm" blasts out of the stereo like the best rock track should, whilst "Alice" feels like a B-Side more than an integrated track. The classic "Coma" never gets tired, and the cover of "Candles in the Rain" is strangely uplifting.Max was ahead of her time and ahead of her country's tastes. With a little tweaking and a US release the album would have been a classic. As it is, the album is a varied and interesting outing by an artist who doesn't look like returning to sing for us anytime soon.I, for one, am glad she imparted "Million Year Girl" before departing our shores.C. James Brown"