Michelle Owen, Michelle Owen
At the persuading of producer Doug Ramanow (Erin Haley, Micheal Pickett), 18-year-old Michelle Owen is going all out on her debut album; instead of keeping things low-key they brought together an A-List team of Canadian session players to help form her musical identity. The core team is made up of guitarist Tony Lind, drummer David Direnzo (jackSoul, Holly Cole) and bassist Marc Rogers (The Philosopher Kings, Holly Cole) with guests from guitarists Sean Ashby (Sarah MacLachlan) and Russel Broom (Jann Arden). With such a strong backing band (including a horn section!), how can things go wrong?
Well, here’s the deal. There’s nothing particularly bad about Michelle’s debut, but unfortunately, there is nothing especially spectacular that makes it stand out from the crowd. First single “Fire”, “Running Away” and “Rise Up” are all retro, white-bread soul infectious enough for adult contemporary radio. Soft-rock ballads “Who Made It So” and “Holding On” work more in her favor and this is where you can see Michelle’s immense potential as a lyricist and vocalist. What did catch me off guard was the spooky “Love My Love”, maybe it was just the vibraphone, but this is easily my favorite track and it sounds like it was quickly pulled together.
Michelle Owen’s debut features some spot-on performances, the production is flawless and she has a pitch perfect voice; but after numerous listens the album never played with my emotions and that is never a good thing. (Independent)
Rating: 1.5/5 Stars