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Mel Parsons - Album Review: Red Grey Blue

25 Sep 2011 // A review by Alistar3000

Mel Parsons may seem young but her latest album Red Grey Blue shows a weariness and a maturity belying her age. Many of the songs on the album have a dark streak running through them that speaks of harsh life experiences, although they’re balanced out by tracks like Things Will Get Good and We Will Find Love Again, both full of optimism for the future.

That darkness makes sense if you think of the album as a country album, albeit one leaning very much towards pop, but country nonetheless. Mel’s voice is made for the genre and has a very mature quality to it, almost conjuring up images of smoky Tennessee bars in the middle of nowhere. Don’t let all this talk of country music put you off listening to her though, as it’s a very accessible album and bound to find mainstream success here in New Zealand.

The album was produced by Jeremy Toy of OpenSouls and She’s So Rad, and they’ve managed to pull in a number of well known musicians to help out with the recording. Anika Moa and Greg Johnson pop up singing harmonies, and Don McGlashan features on the baritone horn and euphonium, to name but a few of them.

My only complaint with the album is perhaps a reflection on Mel’s age and experience as a songwriter; some of the tracks tend to become repetitive and end somewhat awkwardly. It’s not a big deal, and the fact that that was the only fault I could find is, I think, an indication of the strength of the album.

About Mel Parsons

Well recognised as one of New Zealand’s established songwriting stars, indie-folk singer songwriter Mel Parsons’ star is on the rise. Following the success of both her debut album Over My Shoulder in 2009, and sophomore offering Red Grey Blue in 2011, Parsons released her third full length record Drylands in 2015.

The Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year, has released the first single from Drylands – the gutsy & rhythmic audience favourite originally performed with Fly My Pretties, Far Away. With a dynamite live show, solo or with her band, Parsons is an engaging performer with a natural emotive voice that allows the listener to become part of the story.

With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Parsons has built up her fan base the old fashioned way – winning over audiences on the live circuit. The only New Zealand artist invited to showcase at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, USA in 2014 & 2015, Parsons has also had recent tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, and Germany. She is also a cast member of Kiwi musical collective Fly My Pretties, with tours and festival performances including the prestigious Byron Bay Bluesfest at Easter 2015.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mel Parsons

Releases

Drylands
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Red Grey Blue
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Over My Shoulder
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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