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21 January 2013

Singer-songwriter Megan Cox shines on debut album

If I had to describe Megan Cox’s album “W” in one word, it would have to be organic. The arrangements and lyrics are complex yet it doesn’t seem like Cox is trying too hard. None of the tracks on the album feel forced; it all flows. Plus, it’s been a while since I heard great lyrics.

Cox truly delivers on her debut album. The music and lyrics – done by Cox herself – are flawless. Think Fiona Apple and Marie Digby. It’s one of those rare albums that you can listen to all the way through.

Of course, some tracks shine through more than others. “W” opens with “Knee Deep (an epilogue),” one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Another song that shines on the record is “Circle.” The strings, the piano, the crescendo of the percussion … it all provides a solid foundation for Cox’s voice. “Simple math, this path in the woods ain’t one/Unkempt, less traveled, threadbare, unraveled, undone,” she sings.

“A Pair of Shoes and a Mind” is one of the more up-tempo tracks on “W.” She tells listeners that they “can get anywhere if you got the time/all you need is a pair of shoes and a mind.” It’s worth the listen, but the next track, “Knight,” outshines it. The mood that the strings and percussion set in “Knight” is unparalleled on the rest of the album. It’s probably the best track on “W.”

She closes the album with “Don’t Wanna Be Loved (By You),” which showcases her strong vocals more than any other track on the album. After listening through the entire album, this song is the one that gets to me. It highlights the fact that the music that gets plays on the radio is overproduced. Music should involve meaningful lyrics and a powerful arrangement. It should be organic and made with instruments, not a computer. Cox’s music shows a maturity that popular songs like T-Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” just don’t have.

Her sound is interesting – maybe experimental is a better word. Cox is not scared to venture out of the safe zone that most artists get trapped in. Not many musicians today can say they use violins, cellos, vibraphones and banjos in their music. It’s different and fresh. And more importantly, it works.