Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: Megan McCormick “Honest Words”

I was first introduced to Megan McCormick at a Toad the Wet Sprocket show, promoting her debut album “Honest Words”, which was released this August on Ryko. She was perfect as an opening act for TTWS and thrilled the crowd with her pop rock sound, which is generously seasoned with blues and soul. McCormick’s vocals match her musical style well, as she can wail when things are rocking out like Bonnie Raitt or move you to tears with her vulnerability on her simmering ballads like K.D. Lang. On “Honest Words”, which is produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave O'Donnell (John Mayer, Joss Stone, James Taylor), McCormick addresses love, life and addiction with wisdom and grace: "My songs reflect a deep look inward as well as the world around me. I find inspiration sometimes in my guitar, on a street corner, or even in a lover. The new album will touch on love, family, addiction and the never-ending search for self-understanding."

McCormick is a formidable guitar player, but this is much more evident live than on her album - on stage she really let loose, producing some jaw dropping solos. Highlights from her impressive debut record include more radio-friendly cuts like “Things Change”, “Do Right”, and “Addiction”, but be sure not to miss the raw, seductive nature of “Shiver” and “Drifting”. Some breezy ballads like “Wreck (I Could Change)” and “Oh My Love” serve to round things out and showcase her versatility as a songwriting and performer. Also, be sure not to miss the epic “Pick Up The Phone”, a powerful song of longing and regret.

While a little sleepy at times due to excessive balladry, “Honest Words” is a treat, and Megan McCormick – just 23 years young - is certainly one to watch. Honestly.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11

Megan McCormick on MySpace.