Growing, Pains (Universal Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Billie Myers blends pop, folk, and a touch of rock to come up with her unique style. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, her songs are personal and intimate, giving us a lot of feelings straight from her perspective and experience. Honesty and infectious fill this album, and from the first listen you'll want to keep listening.
The CD starts off with the debut single from this album, "Kiss The Rain." Soft guitars flow through the song, while the drums softly keep the pace in the background. The bass blends in with everything, keeping everything very gentle. The keyboards and the organ are also thrown in, giving the song some depth in the background. But the main attraction are the lyrics and Billie's voice. Melodic and sweet, they also contain a bit of untrained skill to them. Singing from her heart, she brings to life every word she sings. "Tell Me" starts out with an essence of Japan, as if you were in an old Japanese man's house as he tells you the story to your final glory. Much like in the movies where the old wise man leads you through your path with such wisdom as "look the other way, and you will find what you were looking at all along," and "you need to start, before you can finish." Maybe this has something to do with the idea behind the song. A deeply personal tale about wanting to be someone else to sleep with yourself, to experience yourself and find out what it is like. With such a strong topic, many artists may sound weak or dishonest, as if they were writing the song for a reaction, but not here. Billie Myers sings with pure honesty, as if she really wants to experience herself and find out what it would be like. "First Time" incorporates soft verses with a chorus that unwinds and hits you like a ton of bricks. It's not hard or rough, but the song goes from very gentle to this chorus that picks up the speed tremendously, hooking you in and giving your body a quick jolt. A nice contrast which really works, especially with Billie's vocals to help pull it off. She goes from a soft voice to pouring out her emotions in a pop-rock atmosphere. "The Shark and the Mermaid," the first song she wrote with one of her co-writers (Pete Q. Harris, the man that discovered her), is a moderate paced song that keeps up the emotion and integrity of the previous tracks. Still going strong, and not showing signs of wear, she keeps pouring out her emotions with her sweet and thoughtful voice. "Much Change Too Soon" closes out the CD nicely. I love string arrangements in pop and rock atmospheres, and here it compliments her voice very romantically, giving us some adult-pop music you could just imagine playing in the background of a movie like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. The flugel horn also adds an addition flavor, as it carefully blends into the background, never overpowering and never too quiet to ignore.
Billie Myers is a very talented singer and songwriter, as proven on this CD. Backed with some great musicians who help guide her and let her fall into place, the outcome is some beautifully crafted music for lovers and love-struck people alike. If you want a romantic disc which is told with honesty and love, this is the disc for you. I'll give it an A-.
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