Lissie: Catching a Tiger
Sunday, 27, Jun 2010 08:00
Debut album from sweet-sounding US country-folk singer-songwriter Lissie Maurus.
By Asha Stuttard.
Columbia, out now
What's it all about?
The 12-track debut offering from Lissie is a strong album with a mix of songs going from country to folk to blues all with fairly smooth transitions. Likened to Stevie Nicks by many reviewers, her songs have a slightly Fleetwood Mac-inspired sound to them.
Who's it by?
Lissie Maurus is a 27-year-old singer-songwriter from the US Midwest. She encompasses the country-folk genre with a strong and unique-sounding voice, which draws you into her debut album.
As an example.
"Fast asleep where I keep my memories/ He's calling me out in dreams/ He visits me / What will be/ Will I see him again soon? Oh, oh, oh, oh/ Why am I so terrified of waking?/ He's gone and I feel I've been forsaken/ In sleep is the only place I get to see him/ Get to love him" - In Sleep.
What the others say
"Her debut album is as refreshing a slice of pop as these jaded ears have heard in years, channeling Edie Brickell one moment, Stevie Nicks the next, and Bobbie Gentry at will. When it's great (the first four songs, in particular), it is enough to restore your faith. When it sags in the middle, it's still pretty good." - Simmy Richman, the Independent
"On this agreeable but hardly arresting debut, she offers her best Stevie Nicks turn on the Fleetwood Mac soundalike numbers Look Away and In Sleep and invests some Linda Ronstadt southern soul into the sentimental bluesy piano ballad Oh Mississippi...Catching A Tiger is more pussycat than predator." - Fiona Shepherd, the Scotsman
So is it any good?
It gets off to a cracking start with Record Collector and her debut single When I'm Alone. You've no doubt heard the latter as it's been rather overplayed on the radio recently and features on the soundtrack for much-hyped film 4,3,2,1 - it's fantastically catchy and shows off the interesting sound of her voice.
In Sleep follows, which features Lissie singing in a rather staccato style that melts into a very country-like sound for the chorus. The song serves to highlight the sweet country-folk sound of her music.
In the middle of the album there are some more monotonous numbers, including Bully, which is repetitive in a slightly annoying way with the choice of backing music making it feel like it drones on a bit at points.
However, it improves a couple of songs later with Stranger - a catchy number, vaguely reminiscent of a couple of the songs from the Juno album soundtrack - it's an upbeat offering, which draws you in as it's sounds quite unique, featuring a slightly different style compared with the other numbers on her album.
Loosen The Knot is an equally strong song too, with the drumbeat bringing up the tempo of the track and the repetitive nature of the chorus working well in this song, making you feel the urge to sing along after only a couple of listens.
The songs slow down and become slightly more bluesy towards the end of the album, with Look Away followed by the end track - Oh Mississippi. It brings Catching A Tiger to a mellow but contented finish.
You could be mistaken for looking at the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Lissie and thinking her album would be a typical sweet-sounding Midwestern country gal offering - luckily, instead it offers some gutsy lyrics and songs, which only touch on the country genre rather than being consumed by it.