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2007 Muses Muse Awards Best CD Projects
By Gian F - 12/19/2007 - 11:59 AM EST

This year's top Muse's Muse Award for Best Overall CD Project In Any Category:
“We Are One” – Kelly Sweet

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Kelly Sweet, a singer/songwriter from Kanab, UT, delivers a rarity: a project of depth that can be enjoyed from start to finish. This easy listening, jazz flavored, ambient, adult alternative CD will please your musical, emotional, and intellectual cravings…it’s a superior project that showcases a world of promise for a singer whose success is a "sweet" independent achievement.

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Best Alternative Rock CD Project: “Selections From The Cube” – Owen Sartori

Owen Sartori, a singer/songwriter/guitarist from, Minneapolis, MN, sent this project which demonstrates a knack for melody, lyrical prowess, and a penchant for constructively using humor. His EP also showcases strong commercial appeal and the musicality of a performer that we should watch out for.

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Best Alternative Pop/Rock CD Project By A Duo, Group or Band: “Stereocracy” – The Flying Machines

Somewhere between the poppy tongue-n-cheek sounds of the 80's bands English Beat and the crisp, melodic, guitar-driven rock of A Flock Of Seagulls, lies a modern incarnation of Power Pop, courtesy of The Flying Machines, a band from New York that makes listening to music an interesting and enjoyable proposition…the musicality and production are outstanding and serve as the perfect backdrop to the refined lyrics and energetically engaging vocal performances that are the signature of this project.

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Best Adult Alternative CD Project: “Dan Ferrari” – Don’t Let It Fall

Dan Ferrari, a singer/songwriter/musician from New York, proves that he is in a league of his own by aptly demonstrating that he has the lyrical prowess and refined songwriting skills of a seasoned veteran on his sophomore project. With the help of his producer, John Lardieri, he captures and presents strong vocal performances that are effusive, penetrating, and perfectly framed.

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 Best Adult Contemporary CD Project: “We Are one” – Kelly Sweet

 With the melodic arrangements and meticulous production of Mark Portmann that run from sparse ("Crush") to layered ("Love Song"), Kelly handles the vocals on this project with surgical precision and veteran execution without sacrificing emotive credibility.

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Best Easy Listening CD Project: “We Are One” – Kelly Sweet

Kelly Sweet, a singer/songwriter from Kanab, UT, delivers a rarity: a quality project of depth that contains easy listening, jazz flavored, ambient, adult alternative songs that will please your musical, emotional, and intellectual cravings. With the melodic arrangements and meticulous production of Mark Portmann, Kelly handles the vocals on this project with surgical precision and veteran execution without sacrificing emotive credibility

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Best R&B CD Project/Male: “Love Stories” – Gordon Chambers

From New York city comes Gordon Chambers, an accomplished vocalist/musician/songwriter who has written for Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Brownstone, and Brandy. His latest project embodies all of the soulful characteristics that define vintage R&B music: heart-felt vocals; accessible lyrics; great performances; and organic music production…This project will provide Gordon with the tangible evidence he needs to build (and win) his case for being one of the most gifted, male singers to attempt to breathe much needed life into the diluted R&B genre.

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Best R&B CD Project By A Duo, Group or Band: “Episode III” - South Border

South Border's stellar musicianship is second only to their palpable passion that comes through in their music, which is reminiscent of the great song-driven R&B bands of the 70's such as Heatwave, The Gap Band, and The S.O.S. Band, but with a contemporary flair. Like many of those R&B icons, South Border has showmanship that translates well in their recordings and is an essential part of their branding.

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Best Rap CD Project: “Voice” – Voice

Most of the rap music I get is just horrible. If it’s not the talent, it’s the song. If it’s not the song, it’s the production. If it’s not the production, then it’s the mixing. The rap projects that I get are rarely a complete offering. That wasn’t the case when I received this EP by Voice which delivers on every level while managing to be fresh, commercially viable, and entertaining.

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Best Electronica CD Project: "Happy Hour In The Gene Pool" – Evolve

Every year I receive Electronica projects that I do not review. Many of them are devoid of imagination, creativity, or musicianship. That was not the case when I listened to Evolve’s mesmerizing debut CD from start to finish. This project accomplishes something that many of its peers do not: it breathes effortlessly while shrewdly incorporating the use of melody and organic instruments such as a flugle horn, piano, and trombone, while maintaining the abstract feel that is characteristic of this genre.

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Best Instrumental CD Project: "Happy Hour In The Gene Pool" – Evolve

While its overall feel is decisively and distinctly ambient, the most commercial tracks, the atmospheric and lead off single, “August Moon,” the intriguing, “Detached Isolated & Remote,” and the more up-tempo and slightly funky, “Do You Know This One? ,” are radio-ready and fully serviceable to television and film. Of particular note is the most mellow track on this project, simply called, “Mellow,” which is an emotive composition that sticks out in this sterling body of work , but somehow managing to blend in, complement, and solidify it.

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Best Jazz Vocal CD Project: “No Love Lost” – Kate Schutt

With songs that flow seamlessly from track-to-track, Kate displays the poise and execution of a seasoned performer on a major label. From the provocative string arrangements on the projects' opening song, "How Much In Love," to the most commercial track, "Raining," this CD is a treat for both new and old school lovers of Jazz (who will especially appreciate the stellar "Wrecking Ball").

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Click here for a list of Gian's 2007 Muse's Muse Award Winners For Best Songs




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