Nineteen-year-old Mariah McManus’ debut album, Nice to Meet You opens with “Say It Again”, which, like virtually all of this record, wouldn’t sound out of place over the closing credits of a B-indie film. The music’s vaguely reminiscent of something you’ve heard before, though you’re not sure what, pretty enough that you can’t walk away from it, but forgettable enough that it doesn’t get in the way of the storyline, nor will it be all that noticeable when another director uses it two years from now. Moreover, McManus goes straight for strangled notes in her range, forsaking real emotions for belting at top volume. When she does play it quieter, such as during the opening, er, strains of “Anyway” and the strummy-strummy-strum of “Unarmed”, that too sounds forced.
// Notes from the Road
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