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Tara MacLean - Passenger Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 February 2000

Tara MacLean

format: CD
label: Capitol Records
performance: 7
sound 3
reviewed by: Bryan Dailey

ImageHave you ever been driving in your car, listening to the radio, when a song you really like comes on and the reception starts to go bad? You tolerate the static and listen to the song anyway, because it’s a great song. I bring this up because Tara MacLean’s new album ‘Passenger’ is an example of an album that is sonically terrible, but worth a listen because the songs are solid and she has a great voice.

When I first popped this CD into the player, within the first 15 seconds, I noticed digital distortion on Tara’s vocal track and the imaging was very unstable. I assumed that I had received a defective CD or that I has a problem with my player. After testing the album out on a variety of sources and trying another copy of the disc, I realized that something went wrong in the process of producing this album. The songs start to sound better towards the end of the album, but first impressions always are the strongest and unfortunately the worst sonic moments happen on the first few tracks. With the thousands of albums that are released in any given year, it’s no easy feat to shine above the rest, and it’s a shame that the sound on Tara’s album does not do her music or voice justice.

We rate albums on two separate scales at for this very reason. I think that Tara is an artist who has the potential to move herself into the upper echelon of female solo artists. Her sound is Aimee Mann-meets-Jewel (minus the cowgirl yodeling) and will really appeal to the Lilith Fair set. Tara is the only artist besides Sara MacLachlan who has performed all three years at the Lilith Fair, and with this in mind, I would think that her sound works much better in a live setting than it does on this recording. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for Tara. Let’s hope that the next album she releases will sound as good as it should.

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