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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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Magnolia Memoir - What
image © Magnolia Memoir 2011


(01 October 2011) Magnolia Memoir will release their first major label album Perfect Crime in February 2012 but are offering enthusiasts a taste with the four-track EP What's A Good Girl To Do. Two of the tracks are from the forthcoming album while the remaining two are bonus tracks. The young ensemble is led by singer/composer, Mela Lee, with music direction by vibe/keyboard player Alexander Burke, an anchor of bass by Gordon Bash, Aron Forbes on guitar and Matt Lucich on Drums. Sweet, sexy, nuanced, and smart -- with a healthy dash of irreverence -– find out what critics and audiences have been raving about.

Internet savvy enthusiasts will find the band's first full length self-titled recording as well as this new EP available for preview at BandCamp. Mela Lee's stunning five octave range -- although not illustrated on the EP -- and unique sound are reminiscent of the spirit of a young Etta James or Billie Holiday along with the mischievous youth andsensuality of Grammy Award-winners, Amy Winehouse and Adele and the playful rock edge of Gwen Stefani. Lee's voice is classic, stunning, and instantly familiar. Andrae Crouch says of Lee, "She has the voice of an angel and can break the heart of heaven." A professional voiceover artist for film and television, Lee has been featured in numerous commercials, animated series, games and movies. The EP is just an appetizer for what the main meal will offer.

"Good Girl" is a rock oriented track with a bluesy edge. Listen to Mela Lee's sensual lead vocal glide over rhythmic guitar and swirling keyboard washes with backing piano melody. Perfectly produced and crisp guitar-based arrangements provide a gentle foundation for the lead singer's evocatively delivered vocal lines. Percussion perfectly punctuates the rhythm in this memorable foot tapping number. Mela Lee's vocal power shines in the pop style recording.

"Rainbow Connection" is the first of the EP's two bonus tracks. A ballad wrenched with emotion, the song's texture builds with lush keyboard centered instrumental arrangements. The almost a cappella vocal breaks are tremendous and illustrative of the singer's prowess. In stark contrast to the other three numbers, the final track of the EP is the raunchy rocker "Chelsea." With an almost live sound, this upbeat song demonstrates Mela Lee's vocal pyrotechnics. Listen for the saxophone solo in the brief instrumental break.

Magnolia Memoir have succeeded in whetting the appetite of enthusiasts for their major label debut Perfect Crime. The EP is available via iTunes and BandCamp presently. Fans will, however, need to wait until February 2012 for the album's release.

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