CD REVIEW: Talia Segal - Atlas
By Cyrus Rhodes - 12/14/2010 - 01:25 AM EST
Artist: Talia Segal
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Singer Songwriter and Sadcore
Sounds Like: Jewel, Susanna Hoffs (Bangles) Paula Abdul
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Home, Stupid Love Song, Mona Lisa Smile
Weakness: Lack of vocal harmonies, Short sided songs (Seal the Deal), Songwritting 101
Tali Segal releases her latest CD entitled Atlas in 2010.
Logging in at just over 43 minutes the CD kicks things off with “Mona Lisa Smiling” a passionate intro piece that serves up driving rhythm, & a well crafted musical build eventually lending itself into a grand slam chorus. Track 2 shifts gears a bit with “Smoking Gun” a slow moving acoustic ballad served up against delicate rhythm guitar, well placed strings & passionate vocal delivery from Segal. Track 3 “Whole Wide World” shows us even more musical diversity with its solid musical build, against a melodic pop rock mosaic making for 3 solid tracks in a row. This piece is quite infectious & strikes an impressive balance between pop, rock, & even folk. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical textures reminiscent of classic acts as classic Jewel, Susanna Hoffs (Bangles) & even a touch of Paula Abdul. Despite the stereotypical pigeonholing it’s amazing how unique Segal’s voice really is. The music itself combines classic elements of pop rock, with an aftertaste of folk. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. I especially like all the musical peak & valley effects presented on each of the songs. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from well placed strings, & solid acoustic guitar playing, cello, clarinet, well placed percussive accents, solid low end grooves, keyboards & even sonic touches here & there. Kudos goes out to the slamming guitar chops from Matthew Staley & solid beats from drummer John Clancy. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive songwriting, world class instrumentation via a powerful & emotional delivery. Zeroing in now on Segal, her voice goes down smooth & possesses a tone as clear as a bell. She makes the vital (singer to listener) emotional connection with her vocals each & every time. I might add she Segal takes many vocal risks on this CD indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. Her falsetto is quite impressive & it’s obvious she has other talents as she also plays guitar & writes music. From upbeat “ Coney Island” to passionate “Fell” & Rose Red” to emotional “Home” & “Paint the Stars in Heaven” to rocking Prefect Ten” this CD has something for just about everyone. The best pieces are the songs where Segal expressing displeasure with life, love & the pursuit & happiness. You will hear this on Track 8 “Stupid Love Song” & “Honeydew Smoothie” The CD ends with “Haftachat Shalom” the perfect finale statement for this CD. There’s even a bonus track available.
Many songs, though very impressive just feel short sided, These songs come awful close to hitting the sweet spot but are just missing one final element needed to really seal the deal. Perhaps one last chorus here, a brideg here, a finale solo there, etc. I fully realize this is a subjective art form by many of the songs just feel like incomplete statements to me. Forget all you’ve heard about time constraints in music – let the piece of music run its natural course. If that happens to be over 3 ˝ minutes –so be it. I also don’t recall hearing a lot of harmonies from Segal. Her vocal delivery - though impressive enough needs more diversity overall. A few well placed vocal harmonies here & there would have taken the edge of this just fine. Other female artists have figured out how effective this can be when layered within the music properly. Perhaps some of the above touches on Songwriting 101.
From start to finish “Altas” by Talia Segal is an impressive catalog of music. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak moment on this entire CD. Each song possesses its own signature groove, & musical personality to call its own. The writing & playing abilities of this band are rock solid. Last but not least the singing abilities & vocal presence of Segal is breathtaking. She possess strong sex appeal, has an impressive vocal range, & a falsetto to die for. If she just so happened to write all this music – well she could be bigger than any of us realize. She’s infectious & knows how to fill the musical space with her voice. Don’t be fooled by all the innocence folks – I say she knows exactly what’s she’s behind that microphone.
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