Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Megan Washington - There There

The second in a series of "My favourite songwriters have albums out this month":

Megan Washington: There There

Not out in the UK (yet), Washo returns with her second album (third if you count the eight-track Insomnia EP) which cracked the top five in her native Australia. Long-time readers know that I haven't been stalking Washington since the extraordinary Clementine video popped up several years ago, and with a voice that could make grown men cry just by singing the phone book I'm still not stalking her.

Alles klar?

Recorded mostly in the UK (including a stint at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios) this is the sound of a rapidly maturing artist with a lot to get off her chest. There are a LOT of vocals, and with a voice like Megan's that's no bad thing - one reviewer likens her to a poet, and that's not a bad parallel to make. Some might say it leads to a somewhat crowded production where others might think less is more, but in the case of There There it's showcasing her greatest asset.

While other artists sing about generalities, Washington's lyrics are true to herself - the nomadic life of a musician, sleeping with your clothes on, and the time she didn't get married (and I saw the engagement ring, so she's not fibbing). As with all artists, it's tough to get that second album out of the way, especially when you have years' worth of your best songs in your debut (as I Believe You, Liar did), but the extended gestation of There There proves that with patience comes fine work. It's fine poetry with fine tunes.

And a small prize if you can spot the bass line from Vienna hidden somewhere on the album.

Stand-out tracks include the bouncy My Heart is a Wheel, Limitless and the closing two-parter To Or Not Let Go / One For Sorrow when she's doing what she does best - just one voice and one piano, and the hairs pop up on the back of your neck.

It's a fine set of songs, and the proof that Megan Washington is a genuine talent that deserves success.

Megan: Will this do? Now get back on this side of the planet and sing some songs.


ChasCMusic said...

Nice pop song, good beat, nice harmonies. I'll listen to some more of her. Good spot!

ChasCMusic said...

That's really not a bad album. She clearly has something. I listen to it through and in general enjoyed it but my one complaint is that her lyrics are impossible to decipher on the majority of the tracks, which is a shame. It's a good sound, but she needs to sing more clearly.

Lana Del Rey has the same problem only worse. I couldn't decipher 1 in 100 words she sang. This is certainly nowhere as bad as that, but I think you get my drift.

Nevertheless, thanks for bringing her my attention. If she could just overcome the clarity problem, she'd be really great although I do admit I was listening to an MP3 and a CD would probably be clearer.