Not only is this my new favorite album, it may just go onto my top ten album of all time list – it is that good. Recommended to me by a friend, I dropped by CD Baby and listened to the tracks online. This is the way to sell music online, people. I was able to listen to the entire CD and get a feel for it and whether or not I liked the style before plunking down my money.

Now, about the music – it is fabulous. The disc starts off with a wonderful track, Too Bad You. It has a great story but even better is the music; it is soft, then strong, catchy and then it throws them all back at you again. It has a great hook and a real joy to listen to.

Mocking Bird, the second track, is slower but still keeps the great storytelling mixed with great music. There are great little musical explorations throughout, most of which don’t make themselves evident until you listen with headphones. In fact, I missed the scratching completely until the sixth or seventh listen – not that it is hard to miss, but it fit so well with the rest of the song that until I listened a bit more critically I didn’t notice.

Dirty Wings is a more traditional Americana style ballad, which isn’t meant as a distraction by any means. I really enjoyed the guitars under the chorus; the variety keeps it interesting after several listens.

Captain Madness is just fun to listen to. Megan’s voice weaves itself in and out of the other instruments and insinuates itself inside your ear in such a way that you just don’t want it to end. She has great range and control and uses both aspects to integrate with the music.

A couple of quick notes here; first, I’m a big fan of Kate Bush. She uses her voice as an instrument to expand the music to places that most performers can’t go. Megan does this on Captain Madness to a large degree and on the other songs in varying degrees. Listen closely and you can hear her using her voice and the words as a percussion instrument or a string.

Second, at times a song would start and I’d go “Who is this? Jewel?” I’m not comparing Megan to Jewel but there are a couple of phrases here and there that are very evocative of Jewel.

This is the quality of album that I wish Gwen Stefani would have put out instead of the boring dance remix thing she released. Lose Me, Give Life, and Nearly Almost Always Nearly Almost Anything are a little more like Dirty Wings in that it is a traditional rock ballad style. Gorgeous singing, wonderful guitar contribute to make these really enjoyable.

Forget is another voice as an instrument song and what an instrument it is. Holding off falls in the same vein; I see a pattern here, don’t you?

The problem with reviewing a great album is how do you single out one great song over another. This is one disc you can put in your machine, hit play and leave for a while without feeling bored.

I really like It’s All My Fault (But I’m Not Sorry) though, not to detract from the other songs but it is just fun. The staccato almost rap on the chorus is fun to listen to and then it slows down into a light ballad before jumping back up.

I haven’t mentioned much about the lyrical qualities of the songs and for that, I apologize. I haven’t really had time to sit down and read the lyrics in detail while listening so much of my enjoyment comes from the superficial understanding in passing. Hopefully I’ll get to digest the content soon, since what I’ve got so far I really enjoy.

This is a great album. No arguments. Hopefully, she’ll make it big and tour outside the northern California area, but honestly, I’d be willing to make the drive to see her play live. There are only a hand full of artists that I’d do that for, she is that good on the disc.

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