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Muse's Muse Reviews by Gian Fiero - Best CD Projects Category - 2005
By Gian F - 05/22/2007 - 12:34 PM EDT

Gian Fiero's Best CD Projects Award

The top award for Best CD Project of 2005 goes to...
"Careful Confessions" -Sara Bareilles

I have only come across a handful of female artists who have all of the requirements for success (songs, talent, performance skill) and intangibles (identity, personality, emotional appeal, looks) that Sara Bareilles does. She is in a word: phenomenal!

Read her review

BEST EP

Rebekah Jordan"The Trouble With Fiction"
- Rebekah Jordan

Rebekah, who also produced the entire CD, vocally executes the songs on this project with unyielding emotion without sacrificing technical precision. Her voice keeps you in a state of suspended animation as she delivers poignant stories, heartfelt lyrics, and subtle intensity that engage your emotions...

Read her review


BEST ALTERNATIVE ROCK CD - Female

Jen Woodhouse"This Honest Age"
- Jen Woodhouse

Jen Woodhouse effortlessly plucks the guitar while serving up lyrics, melodies, and commanding vocal performances that engage you with the intimacy of a front row performance at a small cafe with her stadium-filling talent...

Read her review


BEST ALTERNATIVE ROCK CD BY A DUO OR BAND

Typhoon Ferri"Detergency" - Typhoon Ferri

This band is not about making recordings; they are driven by and committed to performing live. This project genuinely captures the musical diversity and essence of Typhoon Ferri with skillful production that illuminates their strengths, talents, creativity, and commercial viability...

Read their review


BEST COUNTRY CD - Male

Codie Prevost"The Road Ahead" - Codie Prevost

Codie, a singer/songwriter who was nominated for three Saskatchewan Country Music Awards, sent in a project that proves he can compete with today's hottest Country music stars like Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Big & Rich, Brad Paisley & Tobey Keith...

Read his review


BEST R&B CD - Male

Hilsyde"Just Do" - Hilsyde

I first listened to Hilsyde, who is a singer/songwriter/musician/producer and LA native as I merged onto Interstate 5 en route to his hometown, and my destination. If I were an A&R rep, I would have driven straight to his house and offered him a development deal after hearing the first track on his CD...

Read his review


BEST RAP CD

Icarus Jones"Fly Without Wings" - Icarus Jones

Icarus Jones wrote each track on this CD from a different part in the many creative hemispheres of his mind; effortlessly transforming rap from an art into a science while he displays flawless flow, original thoughts, and street intellect over well-crafted beats and stimulating melodies...

Read his review


BEST ADULT ALTERNATIVE MALE CD

Steve Northeast"Steve Northeast"
- Steve Northeast

Steve Northeast, a singer/songwriter/musician from Australia via New York, sent me a project that features a simple, emotive ballad which would be the perfect backdrop for a dramatic love scene in a feature film.

Read his review


BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY FEMALE CD

Jazmin Sky"Are U The One" - Jazmin Sky

Jazmin Sky is a singer/songwriter/musician who sings in Spanish and French, and she doesn't do a bad job of singing in English either! She knows how to deliver a lyric with emotional power...

Read her review


BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY POP FEMALE CD

Preeta"In This Moment" - Preeta

This project, in which Preeta skillfully plays acoustic guitar on almost every track, is well-written and well-produced from beginning to end. Each song displays the type of musicianship and melodic aptitude that will satisfy the burgeoning appetites of adult music lovers who are often starved for lyrical substance...

Read her review


BEST POP CD

Shaan Sharma"The All New End" - Shaan Sharma

Armed with a smooth tenor and refined guitar playing skills, Shaan skillfully blends his pop sensibilities with his rock impulses to create a commercially viable project that should easily catch the attention of the MTV generation and the music supervisors of the O.C...

Read her review


BEST POWER POP CD

Modern Minstrel Music"Kingstreet"
- Modern Minstrel Music

Simply put: Modern Minstrel Music has the strongest power pop catalogue that I've heard this year. Their million dollar baby is the commercial radio gem and licensing cash cow, "Rock Star," by Kingstreet. Yes, there have been other high-charting, popular songs entitled "Rock Star," but this one is bright in terms of its appeal and use.

Read their review


BEST ELECTRONICA CD

Sonic Adventure Project"Exergonic"
- Sonic Adventure Project

This project is replete with atmospheric and provocative tracks that can be used for licensing in both film and television. Even though all but one are instrumentals, they embrace the 6 rules of commercial music success just the same and display a penchant for well-crafted melodies that seem to drive their compositions forward...

Read their review


BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL CD

Michelle Latimer"Michelle Latimer Sings & Plays"
- Michelle Latimer

Michelle's supporting cast backs her with a seasoned subtlety that nicely complements Michelle's emotive playing style in what feels and sounds like an intimate cabaret performance...

Read her review


BEST CONCEPT CD

Stephanie Sante"Coffee Culture" - Stephanie Sante

Stephanie's many musical influences shine through in direct and indirect ways, but it's her mastery of creating stimulating arrangements and provocative compositions that are the key selling points to this project, and the real joy for music lovers who are in the mood for something different... .

Read her review

BEST ROCK CD
 

Mardo"Mardo" - Mardo

Unlike other acts such as Alien Ant Farm who debuted with scorching covers (Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal") and severely disappointed with their original follow-up tracks, Mardo's opening songs, "Anyone But Me" and "Here She Comes," prove that they are in it for the long haul and are positioned to be a Rock 'n' Roll entity...

Read their review


BEST ALTERNATIVE ROCK CD - Male

Mike Steed"Mister Success" - Mike Steed

Mike's robust songwriting style and narrative lyrics capture insight into virile Americana, conjuring up /images of John Cougar Mellencamp in the process. His most commercial track, "Girl," is a fortified radio single that has the potential be a classic with its tight song structure, alternating melodies, and stimulating guitar parts...

Read his review


BEST COUNTRY CD - Female

Melanie Laine"Time Flies" - Melanie Laine

Each song that was selected on this project fits Melanie's voice like a glove fits a hand. The project features three of the best songs I have heard so far this year (2005). All of which would have a prolonged stay in heavy rotation on any Country radio program...

Read her review

BEST R&B CD - Female

Wayna"Moments Of Clarity" - Wayna

Wayna instantly commands attention with a bright blend of talent, emotion, and vocal prowess that will disarm even the most resistant first-time listeners. How could you resist getting caught-up in her artistry when this CD has more hooks than a bait and tackle shop...

Read her review


BEST R&B CD BY A DUO, GROUP OR BAND

McKenzie Burns"Chicago Soul Sessions Volume I"
- McKenzie Burns

They accomplished the rare feat of converting their weaknesses into strengths by assembling a project that contains strong songs with polished vocal performances...

Read their review


BEST ADULT ALTERNATIVE FEMALE CD

Jennifr Greer"The Apiary" - Jennifer Greer

Jennifer's deep repertoire, distinctive voice, and strong identity will easily put her on the "most likely to succeed" list of industry folks who know true talent and recognize commercial viability; a feat she achieved with a self-produced project that features a small collection of qualified musicians...

Read her review


BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY MALE CD

Eliot Popkin"The Endless Ride" - Eliot Popkin

The performances and songwriting on this CD are strong and persuasive. They also display, in abundance and with great effect, Eliot's penchant for writing memorable hooks, distinguished melodies, and mature lyrics. They also showcase keen insight and seldom seen male vulnerability in this increasingly misogynistic era and industry...

Read his review


BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY POP MALE CD

Kai Brown"Better Now" - Kai Brown

Kai Brown, a musician and vocalist from Australia via Southern California, sent me his debut project containing songs that are tightly structured, polished, and very well-produced...his brand of adult pop is woven throughout this project with an energetic sincerity that captures and utilizes his vast performance experience...

Read his review


BEST POP CD BY A DUO, GROUP OR BAND

Keahi Wai"Dangerous" - Keahi Wai

Keahi Wai, along with their producer, Aaron Kimura, did an excellent job of incorporating commercial elements into what is essentially, acoustic based music with a clean, straight-forward, pop production which features beautiful string arrangements and melodic flute parts.

Read their review


BEST DANCE CD

Natalise"I Came To Play" - Natalise

She makes her triumphant return endowed with the strongest collection of commercially viable tracks that I've ever received from a female dance artist, and experience under her belt. She appears confident, poised, and prepared to step onto the dance music playing field and take on the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Milian, Mya, Amerie, and Ciara...

Read her review


BEST JAZZ VOCAL CD

Michelle Latimer"Michelle Latimer Sings & Plays"
- Michelle Latimer

Her debut CD is a twelve-song showcase of mostly covers that aptly display her vocals and interpretation skills. She sings and plays, how could she not win my Muse's Muse Award for both the best Jazz Vocal and Jazz Instrumental CD?

Read her review

Click here for a list of Gian's 2005 Muse's Muse Award Winners For Best Songs


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