MP3 Mia Sheard - Reptilian
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10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, POP: Folky Pop
Reptilian contains 10 impressively literate, wonderfully rendered ruminations on the dark side of mankind. [Her] songs are rarities in today's musical climate in that they actually require the listener to think... Sheard sets herself apart from hordes with a sound that's beautiful instead of belligerent. From the elegant string-adorned "Comic" to the admirably edgy "Stubborn Bastard" to a winningly winsome cover of Veal's "Mexico Texaco", the singer-songwriter has made a record that's probably too ambitious for the masses.
by Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight (Vancouver)
Sheard's [material] is pure Lewis Carroll, though far more melancholy than any of Alice's adventures. Like Carroll, and maybe Beck, Sheard has a knack for stringing together kaleidoscopic words and scenarios that shouldn't work but somehow do. Combined with her fearless falsetto, the results are electrifying -- we're talking hardcore gooseflesh -- and very, very moving... Few free, informal summer evenings are likely to be more memorable.
by Kim Hughes, NOW Magazine
With an alto that can be both smoothly fluid and achingly intense. Sheard can deftly capture the rich nuances in her songs. Reptilian is...far from being a cold-blooded creature."
May 25, 2000
Achingly lovely and wildly atmospheric, Toronto singer/songwriter Mia Sheard's Reptilian disc is stunning. It's hard to know what's most affecting -- lyrics as dreamy as a Margaret Atwood poem or the quietly percolating orchestration...floating on Sheard's crystal soprano. One thing's certain -- the two combined are devastating, as Sheard spins near-gothic tales of sunless moments and broken-down dreams over bleached-out arrangements of strings, keyboards and a smorgasbord of weird noises...An obvious labour of love that pays off.
by Kim Hughes, NOW magazine
May 11, 2000
...Reptilian will hopefully introduce this deserving Toronto singer and songwriter to a much larger audience -- like everyone. Offering stunning vistas of electronic and acoustic sound, poetic imagery and a porcelain alto that is as beautiful as the music she makes, Reptilian should establish Mia Sheard as a national treasure."
by Nick Crewen, Kitchener Waterloo Record
Sheard is a feminist and poet who knows the quickest way to reach for something is to jump for it. Her album is full of risks, all of them worth taking. She's a powerful performer, with a fine penetrating voice that goes in even deeper as it slims to a murmur. Her arrangements, often acoustic but liable to rock out with a blaze of electric guitar, feel invariably right... [Reptilian is] the work of a true original.
by Robert Everett-Green, The Globe and Mail
Into the Jane Siberry void steps a Toronto singer-songwriter with a sharp mind, provocative lyrics and enough musicality to ensure that her art is both accessible and appealing. Sheard should be filed with Veda Hille, Meryn Cadell, Deb Montgomery, Sarah Harmer and a rare few others: Original voices, much wisdom, dark realism with a dash of humour, feet on the ground...The Ontario Arts Council provided key funding, and it's to be commended for backing a skilled, literate writer who, among other things, makes her lyrics weep (The Solo Flight), dream dark dreams (I Want), and redress old wounds (Call Me)...With a voice that slips into your life like one of your more complicated friends..."
by Jeff Bateman, The Record
... A twist of drunken Judy Garland. That's a loose attempt at categorizing the unpredictable sound of Mia Sheard.
On "Reptilian," Sheard's second album, the style and mood changes so frequently it's difficult to keep up. Just when you think you know where a song is heading it takes a sharp corner and jolts your senses out of the mundane... Mia Sheard's poetic lyrics and fragmented style will lead you far beyond anything that remotely resembles static and predictable. It's tough to categorize someone completely uncategorizable (this word had to be created for Mia), but if you're ready take a foray into the unknown, here's your chance.
by Candace Korchinsky, managing editor of Jagged.
Reptilian is a beautiful and lush art-rock record that qualifies as one of the best local releases of this very productive year. There's a lot of talented help, such as Gavin Brown, Kurt Swinghammer and Michael Phillip Wojewoda, who delivers his best non-Rheostatics production work in a long time. But the real triumphs are Sheard's voice, evocative lyrics and ablility to make her loftier ambitions sound like pop hooks. This is a shimmering gem.
by Michael Barclay, EYE Magazine
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