Alannah Myles – Black Velvet (2007)

AlannahMyles_BlackVelvet2 out of 5 Stars!

Being a die-hard fans of Alannah Myles’s first four albums, I had been looking forward to hearing this “comeback” release after her ten-year absence. Unfortunately, although a few of the tracks contain some decent melodies, and Alannah’s voice is still in fine shape, the modernized production simply ruins most of the songs.

Indeed, the horribly overproduced remake of “Black Velvet” is nowhere near as engaging or as moody as the original version on Alannah’s splendid debut, and not even close to being rock ‘n’ roll, but pure Pop. In the ’90s, Alannah’s albums contained some decent Hard Rock with AOR mixed in, with a touch of Blues and Country Rock as additional spices. Now, however, it sounds as if some “brainiac” got it into their head that Alannah should reinvent herself as a Pop diva, and to tell the truth, I believe the music world has already suffered more than enough with generic dime-a-dozen singers such as Katy Perry or Britney Spears or whoever is the Pop diva of the moment, with all the electronic percussion, computerized musicianship, and overproduced synth Pop/Dance crap. Seriously, the song “Trouble” (at its core) is certainly reminiscent of some of Alannah’s former “blues-based” Hard Rock—such as the track “Rocking Horse” from her second album—but here, the studio filters on her vocals, and the overall electronic sound effects of crickets and white noise overlaying the instrumentation truly decimate the bluegrass-inspired song. What the heck was the producer of this mess thinking?

Therefore I ask, where is the “Hard Rock band” sound that Alannah’s previous albums possessed? Long gone and certainly not present on this album, that’s for sure. If I wanted to listen to some god-awful stylized Pop music by whichever diva is reigning over the Pop charts nowadays, I would have purchased one of their albums. As I said, Alannah obviously still has the vocal prowess—the only reason I grudgingly gave the album 2 Stars—but the horribly cold and calculating, modernized and sinfully sterile Pop ambience destroys any semblance of entertainment. A crying shame.

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