Sunday, January 02, 2005

Songs of Zion

Cheri Magill "Ready"

If I were to sum up this CD in one sentence, it would be, “Rock that’s on the edge, but not over it.” It’s a good blend of mostly driving and busy alt rock/pop sounds with a bit of slow and sentimental thrown in for seasoning. Some songs, like, “Play it Safe”, or “Don’t Look Down”, get particularly ornery, but it never strays into really heavy rock.

In addition to the current alt influences, I heard a bit of the retro, like the Pretenders in, “Ready”—which is a great tune to make the title track for a first CD. It’s one of those “announce yourself” kinda songs.

Another possibility for the single-sentence might be, “Strength with hesitation”. This is a strong lady. She’s not afraid to tell you so. The opening track sets you straight, “I refuse to be your typical girl…”, and then she spells out how she doesn’t need constant attention, or doesn’t like mind games, and how she doesn’t like to fake dramas. If I weren’t already married to a girl like this, this is the kinda girl I’d like to marry!

In fact, there were a few tunes in this set that reminded me of my own marriage. “Reluctant Hero” reminds me very much of my wife. She’s the kind who braves other people’s crisis to help them through it, but sometimes feels drained because of it. Yet somehow, she still manages to find the strength for herself as well.

And “As I Do” is about a typical man’s mistake of trying to measure himself up to an imaginary perfection, and how she sees him for the success he really is, even if he feels like a failure at times. My wife sees me that way, when I can’t.

But with all the “strong woman” songs, there were a few that let us see her own fear a bit, too, like the ballad “Easy”, or “Perfect in New York”. That’s good to know that an artist has different sides, sometimes stong, sometimes weak. Too much confidence comes across as arrogance, and too much indecision and you get either Woody Allen, or the depression-ridden angst of most same-ol’-same-ol’ pop bands on the radio today. Cheri has a good balance, here.

I was quite surprised to find that this seems to have been done under the Excel label. It’s much edgier than most of the things they do, even just under distribution. Of course, I have no idea how that will all sort out, now that Excel is Deseret Book, but… I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this one take some Pearls this year. We’ll just have to see.

In the meantime, here’s a great CD. It rocks, it thinks, it feels. What more do you need?

**This post is a part of my "Songs of Zion" series, where I review CD's in the LDS market. If you're an artist and want your CD reviewed, contact me!**

Mark Hansen


  1. Ok, I'm glad to see someone reviewing music in a way that isn't "more of the same." Seems I left a comment that is too buried, so I thought I'd make it again (since it is a question).

    I'm asking, since ever since someone recommended Lisa Cannon to me, I've been careful ...

    Since I like Felicia Sorensen, any recommendations for similar artists? It is really too bad that her solo career did not go better and her current CDs are all being let go out of print.

    Anyway, hoping for help (and maybe I need more than I know if I prefer Sorensen to Cannon).

  2. Hi!

    Sorry I didn't get back to you. Thanks for the kind words of the review.

    I'm, unfortunately, not that familiar with the music of neither Felicia Sorensen nor Lisa Cannon. I'd kinda hoped that another reader might have been, and stepped up to fill in.

    I have heard Felicia's name, of course, in the LDS music circles, but I'm not familiar with her music. I did, however, jump over to to hear a clip of her, and the few short clips that were there reminded me of a lot of soft LDS pop ballads.

    And I've not heard of Lisa Cannon. A quick google brought up only one musical artist in Santa Monica, CA, but I don't know if she's the one you had heard. But I'm intrigued. How did you hear of her?

    Does anyone else know of her?

  3. Lisa graduated from law school a year before I did and I met her there. She had a dual JD/MBA degree, but eventually became a lounge singer.



Related Posts with Thumbnails