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Shana Morrison Link:

Shana Morrison

Shana Morrison
7 Wishes

2002, Vanguard

After the first two Alanis sound-a-likes that open 7 Wishes, I was ready to move on to the next disc I had been entrusted to pontificate about. But I hung in there. After all, Van’s daughter deserves more than a casual toss-aside.

I’m glad I did, because with the rolling, reflective title track, Shana rises to the surface with a voice and vision all her own. "A Song For The Broken" where she advises a male friend that "a broken heart is better than a broken man" is one of those haunting ballads you’ll be singing for days. "Mother" is an uplifting celebration, running contrary to the sniveling mother/daughter dysfunctionalism we’re constantly bombarded with. Over a hooky and heavy swagger, "Day After Yes" examines the consequences of romantic possession after a supposed one-nighter.

Morrison’s not finished though, making big daddy Van’s "Naked In The Jungle" a spiky cry of independence while "keeping things humble or else it come unfurled." The tenderness of "St. Christopher" ("you’ll be a strong man for me") is quickly tempered with the flirty hip-hop of the ribald "Cherry On Top." "Sometimes We Cry" one of her old man’s latter day gems, becomes entirely her own, making you forget the original. (Van contributes a trademark vocal riff and harmonica solo at the end of the song, making an even greater impact.) "God Must Love Me" is a vital, down-home gospel raver, bringing to the fore Morrison’s love of all things blue and r & b.

I’ll let you discover the hippy extra track for yourselves.

All this adds up to a very, very fine and satisfying major label debut that will keep you interested in what she follows up with. Moral of the story: Patience is its own reward.—Mike Jurkovic

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