Jana Mashonee: New Moon Born

NAMMY Award winning and Grammy-nominated artist Jana Mashonee will surely be hitting some new career peaks with her latest release New Moon Born. The Native American artist has taken a new direction with this disc, aiming for a more contemporary pop style. A gifted singer, Mashonee hits her mark numerous times on this excellent disc. The opening “Osiris’ Star” is equally hypnotic, tribal, and dance-worthy. But then there’s something like “Faded Love” which strikes a deeply soulful and smooth groove that’s every bit as tantalizing. “Solid Ground” is near-angelic, and “Take Me Back” showcases what makes Mashonee so attractive: a silky voice, nary a note misplaced with a full range and a delivery that is kept in check where if these songs were given to other artists you can easily imagine them getting bombastic. Jana Mashonee is definitely a gifted artist and this new album should find her a whole new set of fans. If you enjoy well-crafted pop music with spectacular vocals, than this one’s for you. (Miss Molly Records)

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Sway: Let It Roll

When it comes to a band like Sway, one knows immediately to expect: comfortably safe country pop that countless other lesser and well-known acts have explored to the nth degree time and again. Lead singer and guitarist Gina Quartaro kicks off the album with the clichéd “Cowgirl Scene” that trots out all the old standards such as do-si-dos, common folk, and hitting the local bars. In the meantime, lead guitarist Perry Martin throws down a lead riff that sounds like it’s been played out in a million songs before this one. Comfy like an old pair of shoes but hardly original. If that’s not enough, the worn-out subject matter continues on the father to son life lessons explored in the title track, and other rote lyrical ideas such as thunderstorms, cold winds blowing, and crying in one’s sleep are spilt like milk on “I’m Over You.” Sway don’t have much of anything “new” to offer, from their unimaginative name to their musical and lyrical ideas. It’s safe to say you’ve heard at least ten other artists of varying quality do this exact same thing. If you need to hear another one do it all again, this may be your meal ticket. (self-released)

Sway home page