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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lana Grant - Non-Fiction

Lana Grant - Non-Fiction
2011, Lana Grant

Newfoundland born, Nova Scotia raised singer/songwriter Lana Grant has carved out a nice niche for herself in her native Canada.  Since 1996 she has released a total of four albums full of songs culled from personal experiences and the experiences of loved ones and fans.  In 1999, Grant scored two national singles in Canada, including the chart topping "Pieces".  Grant took a sabbatical in the latter half of the first decade of the new millennium, but returns in 2011 with Non-Fiction, an uneven collection of eleven new songs that struggles to find its flow but does hid a few gems in its depths.

Non-Fiction opens with "Stare", a gentle piece of adult contemporary pop/rock with a mild country flavor.  The song has a mild urgency and intensity that is surprising, and Grant's voice is a warming alto with just a hint of spice.  "Cheated" is an intriguing pop/R&B blend that's not a kiss-off song, but a relationship post-mortem that honestly explores the feelings left in the wake of what has ended.  After a strong start, Grant languishes in a series of songs that seem passive or bland.  She pulls out of this swoon with "Dash", a song tribute to a Halifax Police Special Constable who perished in a car crash in 2008.  With melancholy undertones swirling about its feet, "Dash" reminds us all that our time here is short, and urges us to make the most of what is left.  "Wiped Clean" is a brilliant exploration in song, written to an anonymous birth mother from an adopted child.  The whirl of speculation, deep thoughts and conflicting emotions here is ingeniously presented.  Grant closes with "Time", a retrospective on a serious illness as a single parent who is afraid of leaving her child alone.  The song resolves into a prayer and resolution to better with the time she has left; the song is touching and real; and will carry a big emotional wallop for anyone who has been there.

Lana Grant manages to create some real musical moments on Non-Fiction, but like real life, there's a lot here that may pass unnoticed as well.  Grant's voice is a real treat; a gorgeous also that wraps itself around you like a shawl.  This makes even the bland middle of the album shine.  When Grant finds the right story, she's quite capable of creating magic in song.  The gems on Non-Fiction make the wait in between worth spending some time with.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Lana Grant at or  Non-Fiction is available on CD through IndiePool.  Digital versions may be acquired via or iTunes.

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