Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet


Paper Boats

ARTIST BIO The YaYas - Catherine Miles, her husband Jay Mafale, and mutual friend Paul Silverman. T The story of how The YaYas got their start reflects a theme that has recurred for them over the years. This theme winds its way through the songs on their newest album, Paper Boats, and is rooted in the idea that there is always a choice in every situation. The songs on Paper Boats are stories. Through plain-spoken lyrics, the characters that inhabit them share the details of their lives as if speaking directly to the listener. Catherine’s expressive voice is intimate, honest. Jay’s percussive guitar parts and Paul’s melodic piano lines complement each other, and all three blend in a way that reflects their friendship and years of playing together

Review by Nick of Paper Boats by The YaYas: (Recommended cuts: 03, 05, 08, 10) The songs of this trio are relevant and moving, the lyrics poignant. Right from the get-go we get a peppy little ditty (“Third Girl From The Left”) that seems out of place with respect to the rest of the songs on this EP. (I say EP because the selections are not very long, nor are there but ten selections on the whole disc). The lead singer, Catherine Miles, is also the lead songwriter on most selections. She’s part of a close-knit team. With her husband, Jay Mafale on guitar and old friend Paul Silverman on piano, she forms the point at which the lineup, in duet (with fellow songwriter and singer, Fred Gillen, Jr.) or solo, burrows deep into the listener’s heart. Catherine’s voice conveys every emotional nuance, from creating dreams out of despair (“Devil's Bluff”) to the pure joy of envisioning a fluttering cape (“The Cape” - a delicious little ditty that conjures a cape into a metaphor for Blind Faith). The range doesn't stop at emotions – it also covers real life situations (“Last Good One”, “We Danced Anyway”), as well as love lost (“You Should Go”, Willing Heart”) and found (“Conversation On A Train”). My favorite is a toss-up between the deeply emotional “Price Of Progress” and “All These Gifts”. Even though this disc is their sophomore release, the trio have accumulated a lifetime of experiences which I hope they will share on further releases. I know I will look forward to more from this talented trio. (And check out the rain sticks on "All These Gifts" - just a perfect touch)!!--- Steven “Nick” Nickelson

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #Folk

  • reviewed 04/2008


  • reviewed 10/2010


  • reviewed 09/2010

    Wreck Your Wheels

  • reviewed 03/2013

    Feeling Mortal

  • reviewed 07/2011

    Little Hell

  • reviewed 06/2006

    Anna Christie
    Elixer For The Human Heart

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.