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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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Second Hand Charm CD Cover
Image © Miller/Reeves 2004

More Maria Miller
Interview and Photos (2004)
Crannog: Elegant Disguise (1999)
Crannog: The Deepest Pool (1997)

(28 December 2004) Recommended to us by the Capercaillie magazine Sidetaulk, one of the earliest Musical Discoveries reviews was of Crannog's debut five-track EP The Deepest Pool featuring Maria Miller's stunning vocal work. The band followed up with Elegant Disguise with four more tracks featuring the singer's stunning performances.

Maria has returned to the music scene as a solo act. She has toured the UK playing in various clubs in and around London since Crannog called it a day. Her new EP is entitled "Second Hand Charm." In addition to our review below, read more about the artist's background and the recording of her new EP in this exclusiveinterview. Follow the links left to read reviews of the Crannog EPs.

"Second Hand Charm" contains four completed tracks. A quick tour of Maria's website reveals excerpts from five further and equally promising numbers. The EP begins with tender ballad entitled "Rain." The track opens with simple acoustic guitar backing and then develops further in the chorus with lush piano, keyboard and rhythm section. Maria's voice works well in the light acoustic section and her power is evident when the intensity of arrangements builds.

"The Fool" is a folky track sung tenderly atop acoustic and electric guitar parts. Maria's trademark vibrato adds a lovely texture to the number. The downtempo "Always" is a heartfelt ballad with Maria's evocative vocals performed against the lightest arrangements on the EP with her power developing as the track advances. The EP concludes with the upbeat pop-oriented number "I Don't Want Tomorrow To Be Monday." Rich electric guitar-based arrangements provide a rich foundation for Maria's powerful lead vocal. Stunning.

Maria Miller's EP "Second Hand Charm" is available at her website and local shops. Maria continues to show great promise as the soundbites and demos at her site clearly illustrate. We can't wait for her full length album in the new year.

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