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Emily Grogan

At Sea

(One Way Productions; US: 3 Mar 2007; UK: Available as import)

Singer Emily Grogan seems to exude a sense of confidence that shines through on the chipper, infectious, and appealing Beatles-influenced “End of the Line”. However, the strength lies in the fact that she is not happy making radio-friendly polished pop, showing a far more soulful side that doesn’t reach the dramatics of Aguilera but still packs a punch with “Time Is Waiting”. This is also the case with the 4 Non Blondes-ish “Weathervane”, which strolls along with an uncanny gracefulness and ease. However, there are a few occasions where her ideas don’t translate as well, as is the problem with the mid-tempo pop rock of “Lost at Sea”, which sounds a bit safe and tired. Fans of Natalie Merchant or Tori Amos would probably appreciate a melancholic piano ditty like “Restless Souls”. The one oddity here is the psychedelic, Middle Eastern-hued “Psychedelic in A” that has its ebbs and flows. Sorry, make that two when the country-meets-rockabilly “R/Evolution” comes chugging along. Generally, Grogan toes the Lilith Fair-like line with “She’s Gone” and the Celtic-leaning “Upside Upsidedown” that in certain portions brings to mind a Meat Loaf ballad.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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