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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Molly Thomason - Through The Static

Molly Thomason - Through The Static
2009, Molly Thomason

Molly Thomason carries with her the sort of polish and maturity of an established artist whose been writing and performing professionally for a number of years. She’s been writing for seven years by now, but the fact that she’s all of fifteen years old will come as something of a surprise if you hear her before you see her. The Antigonish, Nova Scotia resident who was born in Kent, England into an artist family was singing practically before she was talking; if there’s ever been someone born to make music its Molly Thomason. Thomason makes a big impression with her debut album, Through The Static, showing poise beyond her years.

Through The Static opens with Untitled #2 (Kiss Me), a solid Pop tune in an acoustic arrangement with a killer chorus. Thomason establishes herself early as a center-of-the-road mix of Ingrid Michaelson and Lisa Loeb; sweet with just a bit of edge to her. Textbook Cute is a tough read. After several listens I am still not sure I'm with the text, but the arrangement is great. The song seems to be about involvement with someone who is dysfunctional and up-front about it; either the dysfunction is catching or the narrator realizes that she, too, is given to the same sort of dysfunction. Streetfight didn't catch me hard the first few listens, but the more I hear it the more weight it has. It's a song about the tension and anxiety of growing up and enmeshing your life with another. Thomason plays around the edges of sharing space and establishing boundaries in very artful, musical terms.

Break My Heart is a dash of Urban Folk-core, ala Ani DiFranco, but with a slightly harder edge. The song is catchy and memorable, and among Thomason's better offerings. Summer Rain is another highlight, capturing that moment in a relationship where things come to the brink of falling apart before the wounds heal. All relationships go through these moments; even the ones that work out. Thomason shows a deft lyrical touch here. All That I Would Like To Say is a heartfelt ballad that leaves nothing unspoken. The abject honesty could be either refreshing or too much depending on the listener's perspective. Thomason returns to Urban Folk-core for Sister Sarah. Again, I didn't quite stay with Thomason on this one, but the song has a great sound.

Thomason shows a lot of vulnerability on Through The Static, touching on the realization in a relationship that her partner would be okay without her. It's a crisis of confidence borne of insecurity, asking the key question: Do you love me? One Anthem Girl confronts a behavior that can and likely will tear apart the relationship (in this case drugs). The song seemed a little flat, nowhere near as emotionally intense as you might expect given the emotional range shown elsewhere on Through The Static. Thomason saves her best for last. Little Bones features Thomason at her most poetic; crafting a delightful Folk arrangement with Jazz accents and instrumentation that bring the song to life.

Molly Thomason's Through The Static is a very solid effort, providing consistent quality songwriting and performance throughout. Just when you think Thomason will soldier out as she came in, she throws you a wink and a curve with the final track; an invitation to come along and see what else she has up her sleeve. Thomason isn't about you to blow you away, but she has a very affable voice, a knack for telling stories and guiding them through compact Folk/Rock arrangements, and the ability to pull the rug out from under you when you least expect it. Through The Static is a solid listen you'll come back to. You might even find yourself sticking around to find what comes next.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Molly Thomason at You can purchase Through The Static as either a CD or Download from

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