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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Ginger MacKenzie Kismet CD Cover
Image © 1999 \r\n\r\nEarthnoise Records  

(05 March 2000) Singer songwriter Ginger MacKenzie's second album Kismet (Earthnoise (USA) EN33-80465-2, 1999) follows a debut entitled Earthbound (Earthnoise (USA), 1998)—now available exclusively through hermp3.com website. An album of live songs entitled Live At The Cactus is also available there. Like her debut, the new album is a mosaic of original songs ranging in styles from uptempo alternative pop numbers through blues and country to soft heartfelt ballads. MacKenzie hails from Austin, Texas where she has become a household name in just a few short months. She won fourteen songwriting awards and her songs have received significant local airplay. A full biography is available ather website.

The opening number from the ten-track Kismet album has beenmost widely played and is being used in a forthcoming Mirimax film. Vocally lovely, sung sweet—Rikki Lee Jones style—and with feeling,it is a highly accessible folk rock song with obvious mass appeal.String loops at the introduction to the dancier trip-hop-oriented,percussive "Lord" provide a slight industrial texture, reminscent of Single Gun Theory, while Ginger's vocal excursions and expressiveness are again more accessible. "Love Is Hell" is an example of the album's soft alternative rock songs with its sweet vocals and balanced guitar, bass and light percussion.

"Conditional" is a jazz blues crossover track with very lightinstrumentation and almost spoken vocals. "Whole Heart" is a bluesyballad, featuring a broad range of vocals soaring passages that add texture during the bridge. The rock-country crossover songs "I Believe In Love" and "I Can Feel My Heart" feature the widest vocal excursions on the album. MacKenzie's most likely bids for Dawson's Creek and other popular television series music are the lovely heartfelt soft rock "Standing Still" and ballad "I'm Not Leaving You."The album closes with "Surface Of Your Soul" which most fullyillustrates the full range, power and sheer energy of GingerMacKenzie's vocal talent. Thickening instrumentals demonstratethe virtuousity of her supporting band.

Ginger MacKenzie's Kismet is an album that shows the talentof a budding artist with "with such boundless energy, an undeniable songwriting talent and a voice that evokes the sound of a clear waterfall leaping earthward." Although her music was initially onlycommonplace in the southwest, a nationwide presence is emerging asher popularity grows. Her new album should be explored further; itis a nice listen!

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