There's a strong Aimee Mann influence on singer-songwriter April McLean's debut CD, Becoming. Both artists combine a sweet voice with catchy pop melodies, but McLean's verses are so intensely personal, emotional and vulnerable that to simply compare her to another artist would discredit her unique message.
The Berklee School of Music grad delves deep within her soul, confronting issues with an honesty that will cause some to squirm and others to heal. On the lush, string-enhanced ballad "Open Your Heart", for example, McLean softly sings, "Hide behind all your fear/Close the blinds and disappear/Keep your sins locked away/If they knew, what would they say?"
The poetic lyricist digs through the wreckage of a verbally abusive relationship on both the dark pop-rock tune "So Far Away" and the melancholy ballad "The Way You Make Me Feel". Low moments such as these help us better appreciate the uplifting nature of "All Along" and "Superhero", a sunny, hook-laden tune that was featured on a recent episode of the WB teen drama Felicity.
McLean obviously put her whole heart into her debut disc, and, in doing so, created an empowering body of work that gives us an example of the capable singer-songwriter she is, and the talented solo artist she's "Becoming."
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