Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JOYANN PARKER

OUT OF THE DARK

2021-01-26

Minneapolis based singer/ songwriter Joyann Parker spreads her stylistic wings on this, her second, release. While generally pegged as a blues singer, the eleven self-penned cuts collected here include everything from a Latin-tinged take down of a man on the prowl, "Predator", to a sinewy rocker, "Fool For You", that recalls Golden Earring’s classic "Radar Love", to a visit to the crescent city replete with rollicking piano and horns, "Dirty Rotten Guy", and a couple of big ballads, "Either Way" and the title track. There is also a visit to the shore with the soulful, bouncy, "Come On Baby (Take Me Dancing)" which certainly will inspire some time on the dance floor with its horn-driven fun groove. Rounding out the journey through musical styles is the funky "Bad Version of Myself", which channels some solid Stevie Wonder inspired harmonica, and a couple of mid-tempo rockers featuring a visit to a steamy swamp, "Gone So Long", and a swing through some gospel, "Carry On". Throughout, Parker’s impressive vocals effortlessly navigate a broad range with gutty, breathy vocals one moment followed by clear, soaring roars the next. While she can navigate wordy passages without missing a beat, she can also linger over a lyric toying with the words to extract the necessary emotion. And, there is emotion aplenty, as she struggles with her devotion to a mate who doesn’t return the favor, "Bad Version of Myself", agonizes over the answer to the question, “do you want me”, "Either Way", and invokes the power of leaving the past behind and being who you are meant to be, "Out of the Dark". That’s not to say that Parker wallows around as a victim or just lives to regret the past. On the buoyant "Hit Me Like a Train" she celebrates a new relationship while on "Dirty Rotten Guy" she gives serous thought to strutting her stuff and sacking some arm candy only to reconsider and accept the comfort of having a steady Eddie spouse at home. Parker is joined on this musical journey by Mark Lamoine on guitar, Tim Wick on keys, Brad Schaefer on bass, Bill Golden on drums and a host of background vocalists and horn players who add plenty of sonic delights to match this stylistically diverse and highly enjoyable set. SMITTY

review by Mark

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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.