Megan McCormick: Honest Words

RIYL: Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi

Megan McCormick’s debut album Honest Words is a blend of guitar-driven, bluesy rock and a dreamy Lilith Fair vibe.  Her voice falls in a pleasant, Sheryl Crow range, but with less cigarette smoke grit. Meanwhile, her guitar playing has the passion and technical prowess that should call the attention of people who dig the likes of Susan Tedeschi and Jimmie Vaughan.

The album kicks off with “Shiver,” a funky groove set against a blues riff that finds the singer suffering from the fever of a new love – simultaneously exciting and scary. This song is quickly followed by “Things Change,” a poppy song that begins with a traditional Texas blues arrangement before quickly becoming a peppy pop song. It has a chorus that would make Bonnie Raitt proud.  “Do Right” is nice enough, but a tad too generic with lyrics like “sold my soul to rock ‘n roll” and what not. “Wreck” is poignant, full of regret and heartbreak; “Oh My Love” is a shuffling, acoustic country tinged ballad and “Driveway” is slow and mournful; a tale told from the perspective of a woman dying at the wheel of her crashed car.

There are plenty of wonderful sounds on Honest Words: beautifully sung vocals, exemplary guitar playing and lyrics that are, for the most part, cliché-free. Unfortunately the album is a little too sleepy. For an artist who seems so grounded in the blues, a few more up-tempo rockers would have been welcome. After a string of slow songs, “Addiction,” a crunchy rock song jumps in as a much-needed wake up call. But then things slow right back down again. Bummer.

Nevertheless, McCormick is a nice discovery when so many female artists are either extremely pop or acoustic singer songwriters. For her next effort, here’s hoping she cuts back on the ballads and kicks it up a notch or two. (Ryko 2010)

Megan McCormick’s MySpace page
Click to buy Honest Words from Amazon