Mikhal
Full Flower
Muse-eek (www.muse-eek.com)

This is a sweet, folky record along the lines of what one would hope to come out of someone like Linda Thompson on a more regular basis. There's a great mix of instrumentation, like electric mandolin, piano, and nice use of more conventional instruments, which give what would otherwise be a pretty straight-ahead folk record more swing and bounce, with even Caribbean or Cajun overtones.

It started out kind of slow, and I wasn't initially impressed. As a former music director of a so-called alternative station in the 80's, I used to listen to about 15 seconds of each cut of a record and either pass or add the record based on the strength of that first listen. Unfair, I know, but when you receive 200 records a week and you have a 21 hour semester class load (because you mis-read the course guidelines and now if you want to graduate on time you have to take 7 classes in one semester, leave it to me, right?) you gotta hurry. Anyway, this record would have failed that kind of a listen.

But that was then, and this is now. Perhaps it's okay to use the 15 second criteria when it's college radio, and stuff has to grab people or you'll lose listeners. Or maybe you can tell if a pop song is good in 15 seconds or less (or maybe not, see my review of the Columbia House free CD last issue....!)

In any event, this record has a gutsy quality that Shawn Colvin ought to have, but doesn't. While the vocals have the power of Bonnie Raitt, without some of the irritating grit, the songs take the chances that Bonnie Raitt surely used to take, but doesn't dare now. - Miss Di

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