Catherine MacLellan – Silhouette

Catherine MacLellan - Silhouette

Album cover for Catherine MacLellan's Silhouette

One of the things I liked about Catherine MacLellan‘s sound is that she makes such captivating melodies, even if she has no backing instrumentation other than her own vocals and guitar. On her newest record Silhouette, she doesn’t sacrifice her abilities even with the addition of some electric guitar on some of the songs such as on her most rocking song yet Stealin’ and Keep On Fighting. There’s a slicker sound on the production but it doesn’t diminish the charm that was present on Dark Dream Midnight or Water In The Ground.

Catherine has a gentle voice. What she doesn’t have in strength she makes up with a convincingly delicate ability to carry a song. She speeds things up with Tin Can but the next track Trickle Down Rain is a lush low-tempo song waiting and wondering “where do you go/when you leave me alone?” Among the many references to birds on this record, black crow, sparrows, raven, keep an ear open for her cover of the classic Snowbird, a signature for Anne Murray written by her father Gene MacLellan.

Eastern Girl matches the beautiful melodies that I attribute to Catherine but with a full sound and soft backing vocals. If any song from this record goes anywhere, it’s this tribute to home and the “rolling hills…lush green fields of grass…endless rocky cliffs.”

In addition to Stealin’, which is serving as the album’s first promotional single, True Love is another highlight on the album. One of the more full sounding songs with drums and electric guitar, an avenue that Catherine has opened up to for this record but such an expansion is natural to her sound. Still sombre yet still beautiful.

It took only one listen to this album to decide that it already is one of the best of the year so far. Repeat listens confirm that further. A wonderful blend of folk, country and light pop elements Silhouette should give Catherine a more prominent position on the Canadian music scene over the next year. Four stars

1. Stealin’
2. Keep On Fighting
3. Now And Then
4. Eastern Girl
5. Keep My Eye On You
6. Lines On The Road
7. Black Crow
8. Sparrows
9. Old Tin Can
10. Trickle Down Rain
11. True Love
12. Same Way Again
13. Snow Bird
14. Chop That Wood

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