Evalyn Parry,
(Borealis, 2004)

In Unreasonable Evalyn Parry takes a look at life and goes from there. You might not always agree with what she sees or says, but the songs are almost always passionate and powerful. While some of the credit for that is due to the well-written lyrics and Evalyn's vocals, the musicians who join her on the CD also deserve credit.

They are Brad Hart (drums, percussion and vocals), George Koller (upright bass), Ken Whitely (guitar, banjo, organ, vibraphone, percussion, electric bass, piano, lap steel and backup vocals), Trevor Mills (electric bass), Claire Jenkins (vocals), Marilyn Lerner (piano), Roman Borys (cello), Colleen Allen (alto and soprano saxophone), Davide Direnzo (drums), Oliver Schroer (electric and acoustic fiddle) and Suzie Vinnick (electric green bass and vocals). Parry also plays the guitar and anglo concertina.

The anglo concertina gives a weepy edge to "Canada Dreams of California," giving it a sense of being so far from home. Evalyn slides around a spoken-sung delivery in "The Walking Song," a train-of-thought song that wanders all over the place. "After the Revolution" looks at a relationship set against the backdrop of a protest march.

The music and lyrics combine to give "Jealousy" an unsettling edge of confusion and wrestling. "The Stone & the Bumblebee (a Love Story)" tells a beautiful parable about love. The mood swings to laughter with the tongue in cheek lyrics of "Always." The first notes of "Ecuador" are full of sorrow. The song itself is a loving remembrance of the dead.

She serves up a political and environmental rant in "Weed Free," and the delivery keeps it sounding earnest. The bass dominates the music in "Drive Thru America," emphasizing the bluegrass sound of the song. "Profit in the Margins" is another rambling rant on the mainstreaming of homosexuality. The music slides down ever so gentle in "Bucket of Time" as the lyrics tell of regrets and chance meetings.

Unreasonable is a well-rounded CD. There are songs of remembrance and protest, songs about romance and the every day, songs that will make you weep and songs that will make you laugh. The songs are bold with their passion and I am looking forward to hearing more.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 22 January 2005

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