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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Salina Sias - Salina Sias


Salina Sias – Salina Sias
2011, Salina Sias

Salina Sias’ musical career was almost derailed before it really started. Classically trained from a young age, Sias sang competitively throughout her school years. Then one morning, at the age of 17, her voice was simply gone. Down, but not out, Sias switched her sites to acting. She moved to New York City at the age of 18 to study, and spent the next decade trying to make it while dabbling in marketing and journalism as a way to pay the bills. Sias’ voice had come back however; she was a regular shower singer long before she left anyone know about it. Then, about a year ago she met with a vocal coach and started putting the pieces back together. Excited to make up for lost time, Sias recently released her debut album, Salina Sias.

Sias shows a longitudinal story-teller’s style on Salina Sias, writing and performing in a semi-stream of conscious style that makes the background music more utilitarian than compelling. Her imagery is strong, however, while Sias explores themes that run the gamut from coming of age stories to chasing down the mixed emotions of life. Sias starts off on a stark note with the lovely but vaguely disturbing “Up In The Trees”. The experience related her have my innocent or may carry much darker undertones, but it’s about a little girl’s perspective from off to the side as she comes to terms with the world around her. Let the interpretations begin, but it’s a strong opening shot from an artist who deserves to be heard. “Sounds Of Blue” is a pretty discourse on two people living together yet living apart. There is an intrinsic sadness here wrapped up in a warped sort of fatalism. The song will get under your skin.

“Dear Job” is an intriguing song about the struggle for faith and doing the right things in day-to-day life. The moments when we look at a path and know what we should do but continue on our own merry way are immortalized herein. Sias’ conversation with the saint through a book on her shelf that beckons yet remains untouched. Sias gets contemplative on “Almost The Same”, showing an odd blend of emotion and detachment that unrolls slowly with the song. “Slipping Away” is a gorgeous musical dissertation on death, marking both its permanency and its negotiability for the living left behind. Sias’ piano arrangement is worth the price of admission on its own.

“Broken Memory” builds brilliance from dichotomy, blending mystery and darkness with ragged edges into an illuminating musical moment full of a rough hewn beauty that is nearly impossible to create. In this one moment the listener hears all that Salina Sias can be as a songwriter – A true WOW moment. Sias suddenly throws listeners a pair of curves on the final two songs. An album full of gentle, occasionally ethereal folk/pop, she gets down and dirty with a pair gut-busting, innuendo-laden torch songs that will know your socks off. “Midnight On Thursday” speaks of basic human needs, waning hours, and the sense of desperation that alcohol ferments. Sias opens up her voice and leaves a scarring impression full that you won’t soon forget. “You Ain’t The One” might just be the afterthought; a bluesy, soulful lamentation on what the listener probably knew was inevitable a song ago.

Salina Sias starts out with a firm impression that would place Sias among the likes of Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLachlan and Milla, but on the final two songs becomes a bit of Martina Sorbara (pre-Dragonette) or even Sunday Wilde. However you choose to classify the singer, Salina Sias is a distinctive introduction to an artist who aspires to big things. The songwriting here is impressive, if occasionally uneven, with Sias showing serious chops as a writer, singer and pianist. This might not be the breakout album; Salina Sias is the one that makes the breakout possible later. This is one young lady who’s going to be on a lot of music radars very soon.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Salina Sias at www.salinasias.com. Salina Sias is available from Amazon.com on CD or as a Download.

1 comment:

Salma Jackson said...

thank you for your review and most of all, for listening.

I would like to take this opportunity to give my pianist proper credit (as given on the hard-copy CD) - his name is David Shenton. He accompanied me on "Slipping Away" as well as three other songs from the album, "Salina Sias," adding beautiful extras to simple piano arrangements.