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CD REVIEW: Makaela - Secret of Me
By Jon Stewart - 01/12/2007 - 06:11 PM EST

Artist: Makaela
Album: Secret of Me
CD Review: Makaela is a 19 year old Bay-area performer who has recently finished her freshman CD “Secret Me” which has been released under her own label, Makaela Music. There are quite a few “first release” and “production” problems in this CD. None are insurmountable for a young woman with this much talent.
Her songwriting is oftentimes so vivid I can see the video in my mind on several of the songs; this brightness and clarity is not to be confused with emotion, profundity or drama. These are G rated lyrics and issues, suited to Disney radio.

The third song on the CD, “Butterflies”, is a catchy, feel-good song (without being sappy) that is the best on the CD so I’ll focus on it. A modified bossa nova beat gives this song a jazzy, breezy feel but the funk guitar is not funky enough and the horns at the end aren’t overpowering enough to make this a classic; it does serve to provide an introduction to her aptitude as a songwriter and composer, which is considerable. Her voice is perfectly suited to this song but falters in a few other of her choices, especially on her cover of “Tears In Heaven”. I would take the song off the CD; it is a disaster.

Makaela wrote most of the songs on the album and did much of the arranging and production. Someone should have done the heavy lifting and introduced more discipline and focus to these sessions to rise above adequate. She has a great pop voice but it is frequently underestimated on this CD and left to standard phrasings and the innocuousness of uncertainty. She has plenty of time to find her sound and voice and the originality that will accompany her development. You can visit her at her website at www.makaelamusic.com. When this young woman adds some edge to her songwriting, I will be first in line to buy that CD.

Grade: B-



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