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Suzy Callahan

Freedom Party for Insects

(Scare Guy Music; US: 4 Jul 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Judging by the highbrow pop saturating title track, it’s difficult not to think that Suzy Callahan has been tutored by Neko Case on the discography of The Moody Blues. Callahan’s strong but soft pipes give the medieval-sounding number its depth despite the lyrics being a bit odd and quirky. It’s a nice introduction to her work which veers between Brit-folk and coffeehouse singer-songwriter as is the case with “Hard on Us” and the adequate but unspectacular “God of Heartache”. Far better is the barren and bleak “Never Lonely in Austin” which highlights her voice, her strong lyrics and a light, airy arrangement. Callahan doesn’t stray from her strengths but the departure she offers with “I Built a House for Frank Lloyd Wright” pays off in spades, resembling a cross between Case and Lucinda Williams. Although clocking in at 30 minutes, Callahan maximizes the quality here with the short and tender “Mr. Right” and the interesting rock-meets-roots of “We Have a History”.

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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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