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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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Anonyma CD Cover
Image © Aileen Paron/
Derring Do Music 2006

(03 February 2007) Seattle-based Indie rock singer/songwriter Aileen Paron appears on the music scene with her debut album, Anonyma (7 00261 240424, 2006). This eight track CD has a variety of musical selectionswhere she expresses herself with soulful lyrics and a distinctive sound. All the tracks were written by Aileen except for "Killer Bees" and "Am I Getting Through" which were co-authored with Ryan Smith.

Aileen's music has been influenced by a long list of various artists such as Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, The Beatles, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Wonder, Aimee Mann, The Smiths, Charlotte Martin, Ani DiFranco, Shelby Lynne, Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, Garbage, Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, Rufus Wainwright, Sheryl Crow, Liz Phair, Travis, Muse, Radiohead, and Aqualung.

"I've always known performing was my calling. I started writing songs when was a teenager, but the path I originally chose to follow was dancing and musical theatre. It was a comfortable space for me, and I was able to express myself through choreographing and performing in shows. Eventually, I began to realize it wasn't enough. I had a voice of my own, and I needed to make it heard. I had to make a change. I started focusing on writing again and the floodgates opened. I’ve never looked back." Aileen took vocal lessons for a number of years, but she is primarily self-taught in music theory and piano.

The songs' lyrics relate stories of broken relationships, lost innocence, political allegory and more. Aileen says, "If I'm forced to box it up, and define my sound, I like to call it brooding, dark piano-pop for the cynically romantic soul." The selection of songs on this album give a great introduction to her evocative lyrics and soulful sound.

Aileen performs all the vocals, piano and keyboards. She is supported by Vincent Gates (guitar, drum programming), Paul Kemmish (bass), Ryan Smith (organ), Dylan Rieck (cello) and Mark Guenther (drums). Her music is expressed with some discordant tones, but is quite mood setting. "I think of myself as a bit of a grown-up goth girl. That music was a defining part of my life for a long time, and it will always stay with me."

"My music is very lyric-driven, the story comes first for me, and then I work from there," according to Aileen. Amidst the melancholic background and poignant lyrics, the melodies are a blend of pop, rock and jazz influences. The songs contain some catchy pop hooks that capture the listener.

The songs are all accessible and reflect a growing, thoughtful approach to the music. Aileen offers carefully crafted melodies in an almost mournful style at times. She is expressive in her interpretations and creates a distinct landscape of sound. Anonyma offers a promising start to this artist's musical career.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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