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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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Sovereign CD Cover
Sovereign Album Cover
\r\nImage © Blackwing Records 2008

Melody Klyman
Melody Klyman
Make-up Ana Sorys
Photo © Joanne Klimaszewski 2008

(12 October 2008) Melody Klyman is a Canadian born UK based artist. Trained as a classical pianist from the age of six, she wrote her first songs while still in school. At 18, she formed an indie band while still living in Canada and toured a series of clubs. After being approached by labels as a solo artist, still looking for her own artistic direction, she moved to the UK and then performed in a series of raves and clubs while shuttling back and forth between the UK and Canada. She also sang with dance producers globally securing a gold disc along the way to add to her credits.

Melody is influenced by Kate Bush, This Mortal Coil and the Cocteau Twins. When finally settling in the UK she signed to the new British independent label Blackwing Records. The well-produced ten track collection Sovereign (Blackwing Records (UK) BWINGCD002, 2008) is her first full length release. A single bearing the same name was released digitally in mid-2008.

Sovereign is a richly produced collection including a couple of electric guitar- and percussion-laced gothic-like metal edged numbers. From the opening title track, Melody's vocal prowess and the thick arrangements appear perfectly matched. Harmony vocals add strength to Melody's already strong voice. The upper end of the singer's range is highlighted against piano and keyboard while her power pierces through the pulsing rhythm section. The hook of the title track clearly puts it in pop territory.

In the ballad, "Cold as December," sung against a quietly pulsing percussive beat, Melody can equally spin emotion into her evocatively delivered lyrics. We admire the producers' vocal layering that serves well to highlight rather than detract from the singer's virtousity. Rich gothic-textured organ style keyboards exclusively provide the backdrop for "Sparkle," a heartfelt almost-droning ballad with gorgeously layered vocals.

The track "Fool For Me" is an upbeat song with a grooving electronic arrangement, Melody's soaring solo lead breaks through in the verse and works well against multi-layered harmonies in the memorable choruses. The album finds its stride in the memorable"Never Stay Away," its powerful percussive energy evenly supported by rhythmic keyboard again underscoring Melody's solo lead, self-harmonies adding texture and power to the track.

The evocatively delivered and powerfully sung ballads "Hunt Of The Innocent," written in protest of the horrific Canadian Seal Hunt that Melody is adamantly against, and the stunning standout "Trigger Me" are clearly the most illustrative of Melody's vocal power, range and energy. Sung atop lush arrangements, her sensually performed lead is especially notable. The layered vocals, dance-oriented electronic percussion and light keyboard washes in "Magic" are tremendous wandering for this reviewer into Madonna territory. Thick guitar-laced arrangements contribute power to the song as it develops. Similarly constructed but with the addition of a raunchy guitar part is the rhythmic number entitled "Caught."

The album concludes with the very brief but deliciously arranged ballad entitled "The Eleventh Hour." We especially enjoyed the simple song strucdture and the lovely contrast between Melody's solo lead and the harmony vocals. Melody Klyman has found her stride in this album of well arranged ballads and occasional upbeat number. Listen to audio streams at Melody's MySpace. Her material and live performances are certain to draw attention as her career continues to develop.

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