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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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Every Thought CD Cover
Image © Red Rock Music LLC 2005  

(25 September 2005) Every Thought is the debut album for Miami native singer/songwriter Shauna Burns. The CD is a mix of alternative rock, Celtic and folk sounds combined with intricate piano compositions. The twelve tracks were all written by Shauna and show an intensity through her piano instrumental passages and striking lyrics. Although her material will remind some of Tori Amos, vocally Shauna is most likened to Rachel Jones (ex-Karnataka).

Shauna's musical prowess was inspired by her mother's love of the piano and she began playing as a young child. By the time she reached the age of fifteen, she discovered her own talent as a singer and began composing her own music. She said, "Music has always been there for me. It's really been a close friend and teacher, drawing me in like this unexpected force, pulling me. It's the journey, how I view everything around me. When the window is foggy, the music makes it clear in my mind. It comes from the most pure place I've ever known."

When she went to college out west, she was motivated by the beautiful deserts and mountains of Nevada and Utah. She began playing regularly at a coffee house in Salt Lake City and her music was very well received. Upon graduation, she focussed on her music full-time. She spent a year in Europe which resulted in Every Thought.

The album is full of raw emotion and melodies that reflect Shauna's own life experiences. "Every Thought is about every conscious thought - coming from an unconscious place to a conscious one," according to Shauna. "Each song is a piece of the puzzle. For me it's about realizing your own potential, what is in your hands."

Beginning with beautiful piano interludes in "Ghosts & Vampires," the listener is drawn into the eeriness and emotions of the haunting melody. Her soaring voice has a clear and direct tonal quality. The exquisite piano instrumentals continue in "Castle in My Cloud." There is almost a nasal quality to her singing in this track.

In addition to Shauna's talented vocals and piano, the album features James Clark on drums; Ryan Tilby on bass, guitar, mandolin and banjo; Steve Lemmon on guitar; Caroline Kemper on Celtic harp; and Rick Kemper on Irish whistle.

"Pink Girl" has an intensity and forcefulness in the music. There is a hypnotic energy in "Petunia" which lures the listener. "Toes" has a sweet, tender melody enhanced by Shauna's lovely vocals. "Rehearsal" is intense and has a compelling emotional sound.

"Nonsense" is a nine minute piano ballad that highlights Shauna's talents to the fullest extent. Her breathy, and sometimes disjointed vocals in addition to her flowing piano are stellar. The Celtic influence is found throughout her music and the gentle "Pattie Cakes," "Hello" and "Heaven" have touching, soothing sounds. "Camelot's Waiting" is a more lush track, where endurance triumphs over torment. The final track, "Maryland," is a song about jealousy being revealed.

"I truly believe music is, at its core, a subconscious energy speaking." There is no doubt that Every Thought contains a dynamic energy in its complex blend of sounds and lyrics. Shauna has a unique style of singing, and combined with her virtuoso piano instrumentals, she has put together an album that is moving and intense.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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