By Dusty Ray
Imagine that Sarah McLachlan was a little more cheery, edgy and had dropped her commercial sappiness, and you would get Shaley. Blending rock, jazz, blues and pop conventions comes naturally to Shaley, and her songwriting ability shines through on A Little of Me For Now.
There is diversity on this album – at least as much diversity as a pop album will allow – and Shaley weaves her voice through the songs with an originality and presence that cannot be ignored.
“Paralyzed” stands out as an exemplification of Shaley’s sound; it’s as if Spoon and The Donnas were locked in a studio together and left to their devices. Shaley drives this track with well-placed emotion, groovy organ phrases and a restrained yet catchy lyricism.
Shaley delves into a folksy, singer/songwriter sound with “Claymation Girl”; a toned down acoustic song complete with low-fi vocals and an almost creepy presentation. She further explores her love for rock and roll with “You Don’t Know,” the most upbeat and somewhat out of place song on the album, revealing the angrier, rawer side of Shaley’s writing ability.
“Cinderella” dances dangerously close to being overwrought; a synth-orchestra and distorted guitar add to a nervy epicness that almost becomes annoying. The fairy-tale themed lyrics lack the maturity of the rest of the songs, and closes the album on a markedly weaker note.
Shaley can write catchy tunes – music that will most likely make her famous with its radio-friendly appeal – but A Little of Me For Now doesn’t go so far as to break the conventions it’s based on.