Brooke Miller - You Can See Everything
Record Label: Sparkle Plenty Music / Hickory Records
Release Date: November 30, 2006
While browsing the list of CDs available for review, I thought I'd take a chance on an artist in a genre I'm not too big a fan of. Brooke Miller, an alt-country songstress from Cannington, Ontario, Canada was that artist, and after a few listens, I was left feeling just a little indifferent. The music is by no means bad, and a few of the songs are downright catchy, but there just seems to be something missing here. The problem is, I can't quite put my finger on what that "something" is. Perhaps it's just that her vocals aren't quite to my liking (while they're not "bad" per se, they do need just a little fine-tuning). Perhaps it's the fact that most of the songs here, while good, are fairly forgettable, and took multiple listens for me to remember them well enough to formulate an opinion. Who knows. But enough about that, let's look at the positives.
For one thing, the musicianship on this album is worthy of mention, with such instruments as mandolin, dobro, and violin all lending to the acoustic-country sound. Each instrument compliments the others well, which is something I highly value in folk music. The second track, "Hold on to It" is a prime example of this interplay between instruments. "Everywhere" is a slow-burning track that despite it being just a tad too long for its own good, has a memorable instrumental hook and relaxing feel.
It's from there though that the album begins to falter. The next three songs all feel too pedestrian, and I found myself skipping over them on repeated listens. "What Kind of Move" picks things back up momentarily, but the album missteps again on the final two tracks, the last of which is simply a more stripped down version of a song that appears earlier in the track listing, "There You Are." I should state that if this sort of music is your cup of tea, then you will probably be able to enjoy this album much more than I did. And with time, it may grow on me.
In the end, You Can See Everything is a fine effort, with some strong moments, but unfortunately, they are outweighed by the weaker ones. And although it has it's share of faults, it does show some promise, and with some work, Miller may be able to pull off a more cohesive, memorable effort on her next album.