REVIEWS 'Extraordinary Daze' Fan review by James Rutherford August 17, 2012 * Track 1 (When Will My Heart start Singing Again) - I love it when you come into full voice near the end of the track - gives me shivers up my back. * Track 2 (While You Can) - I loved this when you sang it live and it really works for me. Strong words and very meaningful to me right now. * Track 6 (The UnHoly War) - I'd love to hear this track again with the sound of a helicopter in the background during the 'casualty of this unholy war' sections or in the quiet moments behind the guitar - song of it's time. * Track 8 (Driven) - A giant song ... I hear lots in it - I hear your story in it - and I hear my story in it a little too - giant song. This sound of you in this song reminds me of a Joshua Kadison track (from Painted Desert Serenade) - I'd love to hear you cover: 'Mama's Arms' or (in a different flavour entirely) 'Jesse'!! ALBUM REVIEW - EXTRAORDINARY DAZE COUNTRY UPDATE - ISSUE # 57 JUN- AUG 2010 This is the second album from singer-songwriter Merilyn Steele, a follow-up to her acclaimed debut album This Passion. This album is written from a very personal space kicking off with a song about Merilyn's low times called 'When Will My Heart Start Singing Again?' However, don't be put off - although this album deals in reality, it is mostly about being positive and upbeat with life. For example, 'While You Can' encourages us to take like in hand and live it to the full and 'If I Were a Bird' is another that lifts the spirits, particularly with it's pretty melody. There are fun tongue-in-cheek songs here as well, and I really like 'Information Blues' ... well who can't relate to the brain zap you get from all that information overload? It's great to have a CD slick that includes the lyrics of the songs, so take the time to read the words to these well-crafted songs and you'll understand why Merilyn Steele is more than just another girl singer. Merilyn Steele Album: Extraordinary Daze With the much anticipated new album from Merilyn Steele 'Extraordinary Daze', comes both a brand new sound and thoroughly modern image for Merilyn. Expect to hear country blues with sassy slide guitars aka Mary Chapin-Carpenter and Bonnie Raitt for starters. This album is the result of a journey of events occurred, emotions felt and places travelled over the last 2 years for Merilyn. From the debilitating demise of her health in 2006 to the highs of an award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 2007. Come on the journey with her and enjoy the ride! It starts out with the song full of questions, 'When Will (My Heart Start Singing Again?) with a definite rootsy feel. This was a time of self doubt and dark times as Merilyn struggled through ill health and depression. Thankfully, there was a silver lining. With 'While You Can' the slide guitar kicks in from here on with the song urging us all to live life while we can right now as we never what is round the corner. Written from experience about her own health and also that of close family members, we can all relate to this sooner or later. It's a song to celebrate life with some quirky lines! Next is the comedy satire of 'Information Blues' which tells the tale of the drawbacks of the technological age - information overload! There are some clever lines and more than one or two everyone is going to be able to relate to on this one. There's some brave topics too with the poignant and highly emotive lyrics of 'The Spirit of Hermannsburg' which tells the story of the first Aboriginal mission town in Australia and possibly the first site of one of many stolen generations. This song was penned after Steele's visit to the town in the Northern Territory of Australia. 'Good Man, Good Woman' is Steele's homage to her musical guitar hero Bonnie Raitt. With the baritone blues vocal of Tony Martin to compliment the duet, this is a fine version of the song originally recorded by Bonnie with Delbert McClinton. Of course, slide guitar is compulsory! The mood rapidly changes with the minor tone of 'The UnHoly War'. This is aimed at the modern day war of Afghanistan and the high risk danger it imposes on even non-combat personnel as in entertainers for the troops. Again some very poignant lyrics here, skilfully supported with a very 'Painted Black' musical feel and mood. Written from the viewpoint of those family members left behind. Make your own mind up on this one. There are light hearted songs like the pure escapism of 'If I Were a Bird' which lends itself to a style of Irish folk which always seems to emerge in one form or another on each of Merilyn's CD's. This one is strong on colour and imagery and instantly takes you away with it. 'Driven' is Merilyn's token 'state of the industry' song and more so the reason why she continues to persist despite many setbacks and struggles. She believes that there is indeed an 'unseen force' out there that spurns her on. May the force be with you! A lovely piece of self indulgence is presented next with Steele's own take on Alanis Morisette's 'Head Over Feet', another of her musical hero's she pays homage to. Merilyn certainly puts her own originality to this as well which overall, makes for a lovely version of the song. Lastly the album is rounded off with the pure pleasure of 'Rendevous@Midnight', an almost calypso type of feel that instantly makes you want to sway. A bit of a tongue in cheek song laced with suggestion! Please have a listen to the songs - write a review or send a comment! Enjoy.
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