Nettwerk Productions 2000
Nettwerk Productions 2000
(05 March 2000) Singer songwriter Tara McLean's second album
entitled Passenger (Nettwerk (Canada) 0 76700 30144 2 7, 2000)
is comprised of twelve well produced vocally intense alternative, yet
highly accessible, tracks. An especially lovely booklet accompanies
the compact disc. Aged 26 at this writing, Tara MacLean was born on Prince Edward Island,
in Canada's eastern Maritime Provinces. She lived until the age of four
in a log cabin in the woods with her monther, an accomplished actress
and her Father, a country and gospel singer songwriter.
Tara was discovered while singing
with friends on the top deck of a ferry boat en route to a tiny island
off the coast of British Columbia by Nettwerk Records staffers. After
taping a few songs for them, Tara was signed to the label, and her
debut eleven-track album
was released in 1996. MacLean
toured for two straight years with Paula Cole, Ron Sexsmith, and the
Barenaked Ladies. She has carved her own style and astounded audiences
with her honesty and unforgettable voice and was named Best New Solo Artist
at the Canadian Radio Music Awards in 1997.
From her website, "The unending cycle of Human in nature, myth, unity
and chaos and the elements that make up life are some of the subjects in
Tara's new songs, which weave shimmering organic melodies with an
undulating trip-hop undertow, a musical correlative to feeding the soul
without ignoring the flesh." The album was produced in New Orleans by
Malcolm Burn and Bill Bell. The lush arrangements include
piano, guitar, other strings including violin, viola and cello, as well
as trumpet, drums and percussion. Tara's soft and sweet vocal work is
stunning throughout with soaring excursions showing tremendous power
A ballad that develops into a soft rock tune entitled "Jericho"
opens the album. The moving ballad "Dry Land" is a certain highlight
of the album and among several tracks on the album with a similar style.
The chorus has a lovely hook demonstrating the accessibility of
MacLean's music and powerful voice. The soft rock "If I Fall" and
ballads "Jordan" and "Blinded" exhibit rich string arrangements that
support the stunning vocal work.
"Reach," "Settling" and the title track "Passenger" are sung most
evocatively, in a style suitable for Dawson's Creek, Roswell and
other popular WB television shows, with arrangements building to
powerful proportions in the songs' choruses. The soft and melodic
ballad "La Tempête" is sung emotionally in French with very light
The album's dancier tunes include "Divided" and "Poor Boy" with their
pop-oriented Britney Spears-like trip-hop beat and whispy vocals. The
"Higher" is an accessible soft rock track with Celtic whistle that echoes
the memorable vocal melody, reminiscent in spots of of a much earlier
Judy Collins track ("Both Sides Now"). Soaring vocalise
join rocking world beat rhythms in a stunning untitled bonus track that
closes the album (listen for the "Scarborough Fair" melody within it).
You can order Tara MacLean's Passenger for a bargain price at amazon.com
here or her debut album Silence
A tremendous follow up album by a talented singer songwriter,
Tara Maclean's Passenger is certainly worthy of further
exploration and a journey—a very nice listen!