2007 is still far from termination but it has already offered us a pretty impressive list of new female singers. Many of them released really strong debut albums and this correspondingly caused a rise of competitive tension within music market. And while this situation is not a problem for a common music lover, presence of such rivals as The Pierces or Victoria Hart may become a sufficiently serious obstacle for those who try to join the crowd of newly born micro-stars. But the matter is not about new names exclusively; add a new disk of Mutya Buena or Dolores O’Riordan to the overall outcome of debut solo albums and you’ll get an approximate picture. Besides, the situation gets even more sophisticated because despite that fact that all the aforementioned artists work in different styles their songs are always characterized by a prefix “pop” so their audiences stand really close to each other and intercross pretty often. However, it doesn’t mean that 2007 has exhausted its reserves of bright female debut albums. The name of new songstress is Amy MacDonald and she absolutely doesn’t have to worry about high competition on music market. Her first album This Is The Life looks very worthy and is able to overcome all barriers on its path to listeners.
Although Amy MacDonald is still a teenager and doesn’t have rich experience in singing she managed to make a surprisingly strong record. It is hard to say that this album caries some musical novelty but you shouldn’t expect that This Is The Life is another compilation of simple pop songs. The record’s stylistic refers to something like Celtic folk-rock in the vein of Dolores O’Riordan or KT Tunstall. To be more precise the album’s style joins this direction with purely American acoustic rock and eventually this blending gives out a very attractive result. Besides, Amy has her own peculiarity, a specific vocal zest, which produces a very positive impression about Amy as a songstress. The thing is that at her 19 she possesses a very mature voice timbre. Deep, strong and dramatic – it sounds more like a voice of an adult woman than of yesterday’s schoolgirl. The songs as such are pretty simple, there is no that needless mainstream sparkling bombast but they are always emotionality rich. You can feel the music’s mystic charm at once – something that could be called light nostalgia. Amy’s songs sound quite positive but they always have a small share of sad folk romantics somewhere within them.
This Is The Life refers to that kind of albums that can find their path to the listener’s heart right away. The first three songs sound simply faultless. Mr. Rock & Roll and Poison Prince are the album’s singles so one could expect these tracks to be of a high quality but the title song sound absolutely gorgeous too and it is quite possible that it will be someone’s favorite. The songs are played in a fast, lively tempo and have plenty of acoustic guitars and backing vocals, in short, folk rock admirers will love it. You should be aware that this album can carry you away, be ready. The most unexpected fact about This Is The Life is precisely high quality of the record. Production work, performance and good songwriting are much higher than a level of the average debut album. And that fact that Amy is not even 20 yet evokes a feeling of deep admiration. All the stereotypes about young performers must be simply erased in this case. Amy MacDonald sounds like a highly experienced vocalist who knows both her audience and her capabilities very well. The album offers a whole mass of great songs that will appeal to a wide range of people, starting from devoted Celtic rock fans to those who simply like nice background music. Just give this album a chance and it will hardly disappoint you.
In 2005, the Belgian dance/pop group D.H.T. had a surprise US club hit with their house-like update of Roxette's Listen to Your Heart. Listen to Your Heart the album balances dance numbers and ballads, covers and original songs, this is a feel-good