Melinda Gidaly,
This Mortal Lust
(Girlfeast, 2002)

It is always good to hear strong womens' voices, especially when they are singing and playing their own songs. This Vancouver-based girl and her guitar are breaking new ground -- add her name to the list of Canadian singer-songwriters who do not fit squarely into any musical genre but "Canadian."

She performs all the vocals on the record, lead and harmony, and plays all the acoustic guitars. Her melodies simple and often delicate, she allows her strong voice to carry the songs. It is soft and haunting at times, loud and bawdy at others. The lyrics of songs like "Memory of Lust," "Beautiful South" and "You: Desert, Not Deserted" show a unique way of looking at her world and a desire to present a true, honest set of stories.

"(In)visible Girl" looks at success, in life, relationships and career, and at whether or not it defines a person. It made me smile when she sang, "If I marry my job instead of a man, will I have the world in the palm of my hand?" "Conquer" is a rather odd love song; after listening to it more than a few times, I still can't decide if it's happy or sad, sweet or cruel. Different things to different people, I guess. The same is true of "Anthony," which is either an ode to lost love or a bitter tale of a bad breakup.

This Mortal Lust is a good record -- tongue-in-cheek, sweet, funny, cruel, angry and original -- all at the same time.

- Rambles
written by Rachel Jagt
published 23 November 2002

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