Monday, September 15, 2008

Miss Understood reviewed by Steve Jones

Miss Understood
Carolyn Wonderland
Bismeaux Productions
12 tracks/44 minutes

Austin, Texas, has given us a lot of great music and Carolyn Wonderland keeps that tradition alive. Whether she is bluesy, rocking, going country or being funky, she delivers the goods. This is her sixth album and the 20th overall that she has appeared on and it is one I will be adding to my collection. The packaging is pretty well done, too. I rarely comment on the package, but the cool photographs of Carolyn scream “hippy chick” and add a certain charm.
The CD begins with the title rack. Carolyn hammers out some great lap steel guitar and gritty vocals that set the tone for a nice little CD. I was sold with the first few chords of this song that this was going to be a great album and I was correct.
Seven of the cuts are penned all or in part by “Miss Understood” herself. The covers are equally interesting. She shows what she can do with Rick Derringer’s “Still Alive and Well,” a song she and Johnny Winter must have done together numerous times when they toured together.
I Don’t Want to Fall for You” is a particularly touching ballad that Wonderland guts out. She is gritty and breathy in her delivery. An interesting note is that two of the tunes have references to the king of beasts. On the second cut on the album, a cover of “I Found the Lions,” Wonderland sing that you can find her where the lions are and that they shouldn’t be messed with. The final track “Feed Me to the Lions” is a a slow original tune where she asks to be hidden in the jungle before they feed me to the lions.
Some of Carolyn’s older stuff is passionate but it does not have the passion and intensity she displays on this CD. Her vocals are heartfelt and touching. She is far more expressive and effusive in the emotions she displays. If you want to here some blues based stuff that will at times wrench at your soul and at other times make your foot tap, this is a CD for you.

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