Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shelly Bhushan - Picking Daisies; Free MP3 - "Beautiful Me"

Shelly Bhushan - Picking Daisies

Teeming with the unbridled passion that is the sine qua non of true soul, Shelly Bhushan's Picking Daisies does its best at projecting the independence and self-assuredness of an archetypical woman ("Beautiful Me") while balancing that with the fragility and folly of human emotion ("It's Over"). Bhushan's bellowing wail is capable of blowing the doors off but is as melodious in a whisper, providing Picking Daisies with manifold levels of heartache, rancor, and raucousness. Here is a singer who can instill palpable feeling in a listener just by changing her tone.

With the range that Daisies runs, it might be easy for Shelly Bhushan to get away from herself and record a mash of tunes with no logical progression. That is avoided here, ranging from the fretful "Perfect Stranger" to the claim-staking "Beautiful Me", which incorporates a melody invoking a playground taunt in its assured message whisked along with horns and strings. But where Daisies manages to keep from unraveling, it sacrifices a certain boldness that this strong crooner could use to her advantage. Sometimes the tracks seem a bit too safe. Whether that was a conscious choice to court television and soundtrack placements, this album is inoffensive musically. Audiences of vast tastes will still be charmed by Shelly Bhushan's confidence and sleeve-worn emotion.

With a less-is-more sound approach, Bhushan's backing band conceives funk sounds fused with classic soul, driven further by Bhushan's pop and blues vocals. Some variation in backing vocals would have helped, as the overdubs can sometimes be too much of a good thing.

Key cuts include "Beautiful Me" for the spiteful spirit, "Birthday Suit" and its pop/blues/country amalgam, "It's Over" for the forlorn piano.

Pick up Picking Daisies at CDBaby.

Free MP3: Shelly Bhushan - "Beautiful Me"

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