Album – Thumbelina’s One Night Stand – Melissa McClelland

Posted by admin on August 18th, 2006

Very special; sultry; fresh; beautiful; Melissa McClelland. From the get go with “Passenger 24”, you get a real sense of someone comfortable with what they’re doing. Laidback with a real jazz and in places country flavor, this is certainly an album that stands out from the crowd. Jazz and indeed country are genres that can be extremely difficult to captivate. There have been a few artists reviewed in Indie Launchpad that have done it in the past and the secret is not to blend in to the background and have that certain something. Melissa manages that with a very distinctive voice and a wonderful supporting cast of musicians.

I have to admit, I played this album once before, a few weeks ago, but just couldn’t get into it. That was mainly me not being receptive. Albums as good as this deserve to be listened to and not used as a background to everyday life. I’ve listened to this album again on numerous occasions, when I’ve actually wanted to listen and listen well. Needless to say my socks were well and truly blown off.

Melissa has a wonderfully expressive and comforting voice. On a few of the tracks I kept thinking of Sheryl Crow, but without the raw edge that has become Sheryl’s trademark. Here there’s a smoldering undertone, that also manages to stay pure and almost angelic, yes that’s quite a combination to pull off.

With 16 tracks on the album this is certainly a full featured release. The only track I felt uncomfortable with was “Go Down Matthew” with it’s New Orleans feel, which was a bit too slow and awkward for my taste and certainly stands apart from the rest of the tracks. My favorite tracks would have to be the previously mentioned “Passenger 24” and “Come Home Suzie” with it’s wonderful lo-fi sound, especially the guitars that start the track. In fact the whole album sounds almost live in it’s production and benefits greatly from it. “Oh Love” is also a particular favorite, which also introduces another new sound and gives this album such a great texture. But without doubt the track that gives me that one more play affliction would have to be “Whisper” which is one of two tracks mixed by Jeff Trott.

Conclusion : An album that deserves to be huge. Melissa’s is not a name I’ve come across before, but I’ve no doubt I’ll be hearing a lot in the future. Absolutely terrific stuff.

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