7 Wishes

Shana Morrison

Vanguard Records, 2002

http://www.shanamorrison.com

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/30/2002

Shana Morrison comes by her musical pipes honestly. The daughter of pop genius Van Morrison, she was singing from kindergarten. But an early, straightforward exposure to the music business's up and downs led to her deciding on a "normal" career (in business administration), only to get pulled back by the siren song of music during graduate school. Her life has been an interesting mix of the matter-of-fact and the glitzy, and one could argue that it shows in her music, especially on her first release for Vanguard Records, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 7 Wishes.

First off, this is a pretty damn good CD. (Let's get that right out in the open.) Morrison's strengths are as a singer and storyteller, and she nails a wide variety of emotions -- wistful resignation on "A Song For The Broken", foolhardiness on "Smoke In Bed", and bright celebration on "Mother". Her backing musicians are competent, and the drums of Shawn Pelton and Hammond organ of Matt Rollings are excellent. (I can't help it, I'm a sucker for Hammond organ.)

The production is tight and minimalist, letting the sound come through. Very little by the way of effects is used, and that's a positive, as it would hide the natural expressiveness of Morrison's voice. She has the same ability to invest a phrase with emotion as Alanis Morrisette, but her diction is better -- sort of like a more rock-oriented Billie Myers. (Come to think of it, her diction's better than her dad's. But I digress.) She even handles a couple of her dad's songs -- "Naked In The Jungle" and "Sometimes We Cry" -- with grace and talent.

The definite highlights, though, are "Day After Yes" and "Connection" -- and I don't think you could pick two more varied songs to mark as the best on 7 Wishes. The Eagles-like groove of "Day After Yes", with great background vocals by Chris Collins, captures the day after of a first time perfectly, and the soft, searching spirituality of "Connection" closes the CD perfectly.

7 Wishes is one of the best pop/rock albums I've heard this year. Grab it.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2002 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Vanguard Records, and is used for informational purposes only.