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CD REVIEW: Molly Thomason - Beauty Queen
By Cyrus Rhodes - 06/23/2011 - 11:47 PM EDT

Artist: Molly Thomason
Album: Beauty Queen
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Singer Songwriter and Sadcore
Sounds Like: Jewel, Nora Jones
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Beauty Queen, All Down the Highway, Icarus
Weakness: Eccentric songwriting & over the top vocal performances
CD Review:

Nova Scotia's own Molly Thomason releases her latest CD entitled “Beauty Queen“ in 2010.

The CD takes flight with “All Down the Highway” an upbeat intro groove that serves up hooky vocal groove against driving rock rhythm & well placed vocal harmonies from Thomason & company. Track 2 “Shine in the Dark” keeps thing moving in the rocking direction with its 50’s style vibe, smooth melodic accents & dynamic vocals from Thomason. Track 3 “Amsterdam” is a slow moving acoustic melody with heartfelt vocals from Thomason. The production quality is world class & the musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like Hammond organ & keyboard accents, strings, Saxophone, Cello, accordion, mandolin, slide guitar, horns, trumpet, percussive accents, slamming guitar chops & solos & lush harmonies layered everywhere. The rhythm section pushes the natural accents well. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together. Now turning our attention over to Thomason - as for her vocal abilities it works well within the confines of this catalog. Her falsetto is to die for. I suspect some of her vocal influences are – Jewel, & Nora Jones just to name a few.  What I like about her voice the slight vulnerability & innocence it gives off. Her vocal delivery is pure, sincere & cannot be faked. This CD from Thomason delivers 12 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot & thought provoking wisdom with messages that are uplifting & positive. From passionate “Zombie Song” to heartfelt “My Amy” & “Icarus” to upbeat “The Girl who Always Comes Back” & Heroes” to soothing “Trouble” to the sassy title track this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Speed of Light” the the perfect finale statement for a catalog like this. There’s even a bonus Track12 “People Lie”  

Although Thomason has an impressive voice, some of the vocal performances come across as sounding a bit nasally, eccentric & a bit over the top. Some songs a clearly better than others as some of the songwriting & vocal phrasing also follow suit. It’s fair to say not everyone will grant Thomason a hall pass on this. All songs over 4 minutes drag you to the finish line. I don’t particularly like how track 2 fades out. From start to finish “Beauty Queen” is an impressive collection of music from Molly Thomason. The music is highly passionate, uplifting, & extremely entertaining. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, & signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalog is rock solid & extremely consistent. The writing & playing abilities of Molly Thomason & her band are rock solid, the melodies & harmonies are well crafted, & the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with so much information & wisdom.

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