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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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Breaking The Habit CD Cover
Image © Joanna McMeikan 2004

Joanna McMeikan
Image © Joanna McMeikan 2004

(26 September 2004) Breaking the Habit (JIM3462, 2004) is a refreshing debut album for British songstress Joanna McMeikan. Lush vocals and addictive melodies are rampant throughout this exciting set of eleven tracks. Compared favorably to Kate Bush and Tori Amos online, Joanna wrote all the lyrics and music with the exception of two tracks, "Again" and "Laughable Tragedy" which were collaborations with Matt Pavlaitis and Pekka Rintala respectively.

Joanna has a background in classical piano and studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University while singing in choirs and musicals, a cappella groups and bands during her years at University. She arrived on US shores in 1996 and settled in LA doing session work and day work in television. In 1999, she formed the band, DragonEye, and has been creating beautiful music ever since.

The ominous beat of the drums in "Again" lead to the soaring vocals that create an excitement and powerful musical journey. "January Snow" changes pace with a tender and hypnotic theme. She exudes an eloquence throughout her music that captivates the listener. Along with her extraordinary voice, Joanna is a top-notch singer/songwriter. Her lyrics throughout, as in "Merry Go Round" and "Clean," create an adventure and she shines as a talented storyteller.

"Past Conditional" is a standout track which has also garnered her a "Song of the Month" win in August 2004. This track is expressively multi-layered and quite innovative. The rhythmic beat is haunting and attention-grabbing. Jazzy "Galatea" highlights Joanna's diverse talents and of course, her sensational vocals. "Laughable Tragedy" also showcases this talented singer's gorgeous voice and musical vividness.

Having been influenced musically and lyrically by Kate Bush, Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Annie Lennox, Fiona Apple and Tom Waits, one can see that Joanna has created her own unique and solidstyle of music. Her music is compelling, with beautiful arrangements and a dynamic style.

Joanna's renditions throughout this album are truly outstanding. There seem to be no limits to her talent, evoking a range of emotions which bring her abilities to the forefront in the world of female vocalists. The diverse rhythmic interpretations and outstanding, inspiring vocals create a uniqueness of sound. There is an ethereal quality to this stunning singer/songwriter, and she leaves you with a memorable sound.

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