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CD REVIEW: Mysti Mayhem - Diversity
By Don Sechelski - 09/28/2008 - 08:17 PM EDT

Artist: Mysti Mayhem
Album: Diversity
Label: Sellaband
Genre: Alt Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Sheryl Crowe
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Dance, Screaming From Inside
CD Review:

Mysti Mayhem's new CD Diversity starts with a funky guitar riff and Mysti singing that "Love is better than money." The track, Better Than Money, is fresh and well crafted and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Well written songs, excellent musicianship and crisp production make this release shine above the rest. Mysti Mayhem wrote all the country rock flavored songs and provides some very nice guitar work. She is joined on drums by co-producer Cactus Moser. Robert Britt plays violin, Brian Bramburg plays cello, and Bill Bussman joins on upright bass. Shawn Spencer plays mandocello. Diversity was co-produced and mixed by Chris Stamey of the dB's. He also produced the alt-country band, Whiskytown. His work here is impeccable as always.

In the end, it's always the songs that make an album. This album has some very good songs. Come Back Around is a philosophical acoustic country song about the ways we look at life. Mysti gets funky again on Reason 2 Live before shifting into a Sheryl Crowe-like chorus. Her lyrics are witty and descriptive but with an emphasis on the positive.

 "I make a change by living my life

In a way so much bigger than you or I.

I'm part of something that will make history

I got a reason to live for more than just me."

Dance features Mysti on solo acoustic guitar. Her artistry really shows through in this number. Her clear expressive voice with the bare acoustic is evocative. My personal favorite is the intense Screaming From Inside. Mysti's guitar interweaves with the violin to create a hypnotic tapestry. Her lyric is just as hypnotic. I can recommend Diversity by Mysti Mayhem as a well written, well produced album. It's one of the best I've heard this year.

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