(05 January 2009) Shaye proves that when three established yet chronically underrated singer-songwriters with the ability to harmonize get together, the result can be electric. Lake of Fire (EMI Music (Canada) 0 94635 29292 3, 2007) is the second album for Kim Stockwood, Damhnait Doyle and Tara MacLean, and it deserves some serious attention. Read more about Shaye in our exclusive Tara MacLean interview.
Tara MacLean has had an active 2007-2008 outside of Shaye. In addition to traveling extensively abroad and having a second child, she contributed the track "Here And Now" to our Sirčnes compilation, released a digital EP entitled Signs of Life and a full length album incorporating the EP's tracks entitled Wake.
Of the three artists in the band, only Stockwood ever appeared to be properly marketed, and then only marginally. Her charming 1999 album, which yielded the hits "12 Years Old" and "Jerk," announced the arrival of a unique talent. The success of this second album took her down a career path that saw her collaborate with Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook, Jann Arden and Paul Hyde of Payola's fame. Tara MacLean has been recording since since the mid 1990s, but her three well received albums didn't cause much of a stir commercially. Damhnait Doyle's career biography was similar.
While all three have their strengths and weaknesses, together those weaknesses seem to disappear. The first two singles, "Lake of Fire" and "You're Not Alone," are excellent contemporary folk-rockers that showcase the women as strong vocalists and songwriters. The only question this sophomore effort leaves unanswered is how come "We Will Not Be Lovers" hasn't been released as a single?
Lake of Fire is comprised of thirteen accessible tracks. Twelve are original Shaye compositions, the thirteenth is a Shaye cover of Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey." The 50-minute album offers lead vocals by the individual artists and various combinations. Instrumentals are well produced, but this is clearly a vocal album. The range of styles and vocal harmonies are coupled with excellent arrangements to create a tremendous album.
With three writers on one album, there's not a lot room for other voices, but Shaye manages to carve out a little space for songs by Jill Sobule, Ron Sexsmith and Van
Morrison. Shaye is proof that if two heads are better than one, three are exponentially better.--contributions from Herizons Magazine, Inc. and Musical Discoveries