E.P. REVIEW: Madelyn Victoria by Madelyn Victoria

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Madelyn Victoria is a country singer and songwriter hailing from Deep South Texas. She began singing and performing from an early age, entering talent competitions and earning awards. At thirteen, she became lead singer for her church and started writing songs. She now performs with her band around Texas and has shared the stage with Easton Corbin, Turnpike Troubadours, Clay Walker and many others.

This eponymous five track EP is a great representation of her talents. She writes country songs in the classic style but with modern production to bring it up to date. Opening track Hold On is a fine start, starting with a picked guitar intro and progressing into an upbeat country rock song aided by fiddle and slide guitar. She has an excellent voice, comparable to Shania Twain and Miranda Lambert, truly shining on the memorable chorus. This would make the perfect choice as a single.

Breaking My Heart has more of a swinging feel, with a nice rolling bassline and another fine vocal performance from Madelyn. The song is nicely constructed with some gorgeous flourishes of slide guitar, especially the solo towards the end. Lyrically, it’s about a relationship that is causing pain and needs to end despite the strong attraction and desire: “Oh no, now they’re playing our song, should we dance, take one last chance and let it burn all night long?”.

He Only Loves Me On The Dancefloor is slower paced and is again about the lure of a relationship based on not much more than physical attraction. The chorus to this song is particularly memorable, latching in your mind on the first listen, marking it out as another potential single.

Wild Ride is a great contrast, a fast paced country rocker that seems designed for a hoedown on the dancefloor. Madelyn gives a feisty performance on this party song that is guaranteed to uplift your mood. It’s another catchy chorus and the half time section works well. Final track Sand In A Bottle is a nice mellow song to close with, featuring both guitar and fiddle solos, plus lovely picked acoustic guitar as the song fades out.

Overall, this is an extremely impressive EP from a very gifted singer/songwriter who has everything it takes to hit the big time. With an excellent band behind her, flawless production and most importantly, great songs, her star is surely on the ascendance.

 

Alex Faulkner

 

Verdict: 9 out of 10

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SINGLE REVIEW: Love Ain’t A Prize by Donica Knight

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Donica Knight is a singer hailing from Montgomery, Alabama. She developed her love for the stage when she became the lead singer in a cover band Lucky Town and performed many gigs, honing her craft. She has since headed to Nashville and shared the stage with Lynryd Skynrd, 3 Doors Down and Kenny Rogers, amongst many others.

This track, Love Ain’t A Prize, is an infectiously upbeat country rock song that is the perfect showcase for Donica’s vocal abilities. She has a distinctive, expressive voice with a large range and a radio friendly tone, not unlike Shania Twain. The song’s hook immediately latches in your head, and it’s rare for a song to be instant that stands up to repeated listening.

The music is built around a catchy picked banjo melody that is aided by a vibrant funky bassline and driving drums. Along with Donica’s huge singing performance, she is backed by some superb backing singers that fill out the sound. Lyrically, it’s about how she feels that love must be genuine, as explained by the song’s other catchy refrain “You can’t buy a Southern girl’s heart…”.

Overall, this honestly strikes me as an instant classic of its genre, but would appeal to far more than just country fans, such is its appeal. If this song doesn’t break Donica Knight into the big time, then I don’t know what song will! The production is first class, and is perfect as a song to take to radio.

Alex Faulkner

Verdict 9.4 out of 10