(Cupit, 2003)

Move over Mary Chapin Carpenter, there is a rising star looking for your audience. Memarie's self-titled CD is one of the most consistent albums in the Americana genre that I have heard in a long time. From track one, "I Know You By Heart," she captures your attention and, what is more, she holds it.

These are songs of life, living and love that have a very personal feel and as we can relate to the sentiments they could become the soundtrack of any of our lives.

"Miss Understood" is just one track that, as you will guess from the title, shows the writing ability of Memarie along with Jerry Cupit. "New Shoes" reminds me that she is a very contemporary writer, as she equates a lifestyle change with new shoes. And with lines like "courage came knocking late at night" on "Somewhere Bound," you can again appreciate the quality of the work.

My favourite track is "What If He's Right," which takes the Biblical tale of Noah and then moves through the New Testament in a beautiful song that could give more religion to a casual listener than a pulpit full of preachers.

The insert offers some nice pictures of the performer along with the lyrics of 11 songs.

Then comes the pleasant surprise and the frustration. There are 11 more bonus tracks of similar quality but not even a track listing for them. So for your money you get 22 tracks, the final half of them like a mystery tour as you go into uncharted territory without the benefit of a map.

I will not spoil the surprise but will just say two things. The second 11 tracks are somewhat more rock-oriented and the track lengths are one or two seconds longer than the preceding batch.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 6 March 2004

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