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CD REVIEW: Shelley Miller - When It's All Gone, You Come Back
By Don Sechelski - 03/28/2010 - 07:35 PM EDT

Artist: Shelley Miller
Album: When It's All Gone, You Come Back
Genre: Americana, Folk, Acoustic
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Buckle To Burn, Nadine, Wait For You,
CD Review:

Wow! I just listened to Shelley Millerís third CD, When Itís All Gone, You Come Back, several times. Wow! This is a white hot talent in full bloom.  Millerís songwriting is stripped down to essentials and the results are so clear and true. The arrangements and production by John Abbey are the perfect frame for Millerís excruciatingly expressive voice.  Miller is joined by a variety of musicians including Micah Walk, Steve Dawson, Joe Darnaby, Ari Levi, and Tabitha Lydon.

Millerís songs are very well crafted with strong lyrics and interesting, tuneful melodies. The first cut, Buckle To Burn, contains lines like:

If beer can confessions were the same as affection,

I'd have married you five times this week

But the rings 'round my eyes don't come close to fitting on my finger

Every song is strong but the haunting Nadine simply stole my heart. The delicate guitar work against a mournful violin and Millerís stunning vocal are breathtaking. The inner tension of the song is maintained with lyrics like:

You say your father was a weapon and you the target of choice

We spread our coats like blankets over the fire of maple leaves

I curl into the smoke of your voice

Bookbag hard beneath my head, your fingers soft, cigarettes on my tongue

And there is no word for being

This strong and this undone

But itís not just the richly descriptive songs, Shelley Millerís voice is alternately endearing, mournful, sinful, and soulful. She breathes an intense fire into every song on this CD that brings them vividly to life. When Itís All Gone, You Come Back is a must have CD. This is songwriting and performance at the highest level. I think that Shelley Millerís When Itís All Gone, You Come Back will be one my top picks for the year 2010.

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