Meghan Shanley releases ”Ready for Love”
After winning the Miss Virginia title, Meghan Shanley discovered an insatiable appetite for meeting fans making new friends during a life on the road that saw her traveling over 3,000 miles a month in the wake of her win. With a deep love of music, Meghan discovered that she loved touring as well and began to focus on the pursuit of a career in music. She followed her passion from her home Virginia and headed to Nashville where she plays regularly around the area and at local venues like Sambuca, while she and her team have lovely crafted a debut album. Her path has taken her down eclectic roads, and she has been a featured performer in touring productions of country classics: Treasures From The Attic, The Spirit Of Broadway, The Spirit Of Christmas, Dancing Queen and others. She breaks out here on 2014’s Ready For Love, with a vibrant effort. The groove is established within the first three songs, as the CD starts out with a bang in the shape of Ready For Love itself, and boy does it light the way, following with the high energy soul of One Day, Synergy, and the most excellence of the slowest burning track, Break My Heart. These are all great songs with a backing beat to die for, but with the latter track being an epic ballad. There is a lot of influence felt here, but Meghan makes her music somehow all her own, even though it is clear that she grew up on artists like Whitney Houston and Billy Holiday combined, with a lot to note in-between. This ballad is like listening to a female Sinatra in many ways, somehow very akin to the crooners of the past but with a fresh approach that updates that sort of thing. She seems to defy all that is bad in today’s musical landscape, especially in the area of danceable music. On the second half of the CD, things go deeper and harder to get her musical message across, and that is not to say it loses any speed in establishing herself as a great singer, in fact she only gets better as the tracks go. They just take on a slightly more serious approach with tracks such as the epic Better Left Unsaid, and the infectious Without You. These songs all cater to both the youth and the more mature adult audience without leaning too far in either demographic. And the arrangements dazzle at every turn, making it all so very compelling. I usually don’t respond this way to just any singer, especially of this genre, but when it comes to Meghan, I make such an exception that it doesn’t seem to matter what I like, because it shows I can be turned around at the drop of excellence concerning any music I wrap my ears around. While this is liberating to me, it might be the opposite for lovers of her style, but I highly doubt that is the reaction, regardless of the possibility. It shows that even I can be convinced of this somehow pleasantly formulaic, but otherwise mesmerizing talent.
This CD takes me back to early Billy Holliday and Even Ela Fitzgerald, but also harkens back to male crooners like Tony Bennett and the aforementioned Frank Sinatra and even more modern artists like Harry Connick Jr. and definitely containing a splash of Michael Buble’. If you love smooth jazz you will be all over this, but also discover much more when you hear the consistent sound that stays the course throughout, with the bouncy arrangements and the well delivered vocals when she sings gems like Smile, and puts it all out there in Shake, Mysterious, and the great Without You. While it’s not for everyone, it is something I can appreciate, and hopefully it catches onto the masses and doesn’t let go.
M. Rybacki – IMR Staff