Your crusty chronicler generally does his own thing. Still, when Examiner asked for support for their “List” format, it was impossible not to be open-minded. So, with that spirit of unity and teamwork in mind, your rockin’ reviewer presents this series—“Track by Track” in which we review certain select CDs literally “track by track”.
In this edition, we peruse Eileen Carey’s Let It Go. But first, for those not on your indie artists, Eileen Carey is an award-winning Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and musician. On this artistic effort she is ably assisted by several supporting artists including: John McDuffie (steel guitar and lap steel), Grant G”nick Nicholas (trumpet), John Heinrich (steel sax and clarinet) and Byron Holly and Heather Wiggins (background vocals).
Carey explains the thought behind this disc: “I always try to give people different options as a way to look at things. Because, unfortunately, this world’s been up and down and I if can get them to think about things that maybe they haven’t before, then maybe they can ‘Let It Go’ and get to a better place in life.”
“Bring On The Big”
Let It Go features 11 songs specifically put together by Carey to present a “theme of letting go of those ties that bind us to the past.” The album opener is “Bring On The Big”. This song, written by Angela Kaset and Amy Dalley, becomes a strong lead-in for Carey. It seems ready for radio but reveals but a hint of the things to come.
Anything That Reminds Me Of You”
The second selection is “Anything That Reminds Me Of You”. This one was written by Amy Dalley and Jack Sizemore. It is perhaps almost overshadowed a bit by the tracks on either side of it but it still works for Carey’s purposes in terms of the theme of the release and the message she is conveying on the disc.
“Let It Go”
“Let It Go” is the titular track. This, too, is strong enough to work as a standalone song. In fact, it was actually recently chosen to be the first new single off the album and garnered some positive early reviews from fans and critics alike. It’s an upbeat pop/rock piece Carey co-composed with Kathryn Grimm. It works well as the theme song for a CD full of positive messages.
“Don’t Get Me Wrong”
The next number is “Don’t Get Me Wrong”. This is a welcome, refreshing cover of the 1986 Chrissie Hynde-composed classic. It’s one of the best songs on the disc and worked well as a pre-album single release some time ago as well.
Carey commented: “I have been a huge fan of Chrissie Hynde for years, and she like me comes from Ohio. ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ is a Pretenders song I always wanted to sing but wanted to come up with my own country-pop arrangement of it; always thought it perfect for my blend of country, rock and pop. My producer Travis (Allen Childress) did a great job on the arrangement.”
She added: “Someone compared the guitar sound to the acclaimed Earl Mankey productions for Concrete Blond, and Dave Stewart of the Eurhythmics took special notice of my vocal on the track, which of course his being Annie Lennox’s partner for so many years, super validated my choice of material and of course was very flattering.”
“Party At The Beach” and “Only The Lonely”
“Party At The Beach” follows here. This one is also a collaborative effort between Carey and Kathryn Grimm. It serves to further demonstrate what Carey can do in terms of tuneful team-ups. While the songwriter is fun and memorable enough Carey covers the next cut so well it is all too quickly forgotten. Specifically, Carey’s adaptation of The Motels’ 1982 hit “Only The Lonely” not only grabs your attention but has a musical life all its own.
The seventh song selection on this CD is “Joey”. This is yet another original work co-composed by Carey and Paul Masvidal. It is not only yet another example of what she can do as part of a writing team but with Masvidal as collaborator this time it also shows how her songwriting skills change slightly to adapt to each individual partner.
“Walking On Sunshine”
The next number is yet another worthy adaptation. Carey covers “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. Her countrified cover cut of the 1985 hit fits in quite well with the overall theme and feel of the album. Besides, it’s just yet another chance for Carey to share the fun she sounds like she’s having here.
“Bottle Your Crazy Up”
“Bottle Your Crazy Up” follows. Not sure about this piece of advice. Sometimes it is good to bottle it up but depending on whose crazy it is there just could be trouble if the bottle fell into the wrong hands. This one was written by Bart Almond and Amy Dalley.
“Sweet Love” is a song that while expected still works. This is yet another Carey-Grimm effort. Cute crooners need something like this and Carey knows how to handle it. She has a way of almost owning songs that are only covers so when it comes to something she co-composed it becomes something you cannot imagine anyone else singing it.
“Love Never Dies”
The album’s endnote is the reassuring song titled “Love Never Dies”. It’s an apropos closing cut co-composed by Carey and Grimm. This is an overall upbeat offering in which she conveys a positive message that reminds us that life is too short to worry about all the little things and therefore sometimes you just have to “Let It Go”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.