Michaela McClain currently hails from Madison, but this Somerset County native has far-reaching talent way beyond the borders of the Garden State. Take a Chance, her fourth EP, showcases that ability once again as this effort shines from start to finish. It’s a six-song disc that illuminates McClain’s vocal and instrumental prowess over and over again.
Track 1, “Never Long Enough,” is an acoustic guitar-based beauty with a tasty bass line, beautiful backing harmonies and a fabulous use of strings. McClain’s vocals are haunting and yet strong enough to make this a great opener.
Track 2 is the title cut and has a jazzy feel punctuated by the sexy piano part. “You only win when you give your love,” McClain sings. Pay attention at the end and get a sampling of her vocal range; very nicely done.
Track 3, “Yolo,” is an upbeat little ditty utilizing a ukulele. This is a marked change from the first two offerings and well placed in the track order as it breaks things up nicely.
Track 4, “Some Men Need to Hear This,” is a point-blank, pay-attention-buddy-I’m puttin’-you-on-notice, tongue-in-cheek look at the chess game between men and women occurring when a male has his sights set. “Just because I give a good hug, that don’t mean we’re in love” and “You think we might have this vibe but I’m warning you, don’t even try” are two of the lines in which this sultry tune drives the point home. Bass heavy, with a great muted trumpet that gives it a dank jazz club feel, it stands out as one of the best cuts on the disc.
Next is “The Fringe,” another upbeat, jazz-infused piece that shows off McClain’s edgy side. The vocals are gutsy, in-your-face and yet melodic and her tone impeccable, as it is throughout this EP.
The final track is titled “I Will Rise.” The string intro leads into piano that gives way to McClain’s once again strong vocal. Minus drums, she pounds home the feel with aggressive keys and a dynamic use of the strings and her vocal phrasings.
Overall, this is a well produced, well mixed and well done disc. This reviewer was sad to see that it is only six tracks but the six pack a lot of punch. Take a Chance is more than worth the price and further enhances the allure that is Michaela McClain.
For more about McClain, visit Facebook.com/Michaela.Music.McClain.
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