. : : April 14/17th, 2014 : : .
Four and a half years after her brilliant début major label album, The Cricket’s Orchestra, Meaghan Smith is back with her sophomore follow-up, Have A Heart.
Gone is influence of the big band and early jazz of the 40’s and 50’s, replaced an eccentric mix of modern and 60’s/70’s pop. Although jumping ahead several decades in influence and sound, all you have to do is listen to songs like Friends Like You and you’ll rest assured that at the heart of these bigger, bolder, and largely produced songs is still that sweet and wry Canadian gal who won a Best New Artist Juno in 2011.
Meaghan and her hus-band, Jason Mingo, seemed to have also upped the ante with their live set-up, replacing the stripped down almost-all-acoustic set enhanced by samples with a full live band. Jason now brandishes an electric guitar, and is rounded out by a keyboardist, bassist and live drummer.
This group of live musicians brings a welcome burst of energy to the modern pop influences on the album, which, for the old fashion folks like myself, occasionally come across a bit cold. The needless vocal effects occasionally added on the disc are all but discarded for the live performances as well, allowing the soul of a Meaghan Smith show to burst forth front-and-centre.
Spear-heading potential claims of “selling out” before they could start, Meaghan addressed the elephant in the room of the new, heavily pop-influenced sound by stating that she grew up listening to pop music on her family’s old AM radio, and she wanted to make an album of music that a new generation of families can grow up hearing over the airwaves. It seems to have worked: the lead single and title track from the new disc has already broken the Top 100 in the Canadian charts (the first to do so), and has been getting regular rotation on radio stations from coast to coast.
As a long-time supporter of the Mingo family, I’m excited to see the rest of the country catch up to what I’ve known for years now: Meaghan Smith is one of our nation’s best kept secret gems.
This past week, Meaghan has taken to the local television programs to preview tracks from the new disc, which hits retail outlets everywhere on April 22nd. Check out the live performances below, and give some of the album tracks a quick view on YouTube (linked further below) and hop on the bandwagon early, lest you be labelled a pitiful straggler.
[HaterHigh.com also would like to congratulate Meaghan and Jason on their latest collaboration: a new baby, due in August!]
2014.04.14 :: Marilyn Denis Show
2014.04.17 :: Canada AM
- Have A Heart