Lynn Miles is the best singer/songwriter performing independently produced music today. Just when you think you have heard the last word on love or loss, she comes out with a new recording that captures in lyric and melody, that moment of universal heartbreak in perfect painterly brush strokes. Her distinctive, plaintive voice rises and falls on the battlefield of love, ready to pick up the pieces once more.
Fall for Beauty is Miles's new release, and it is a work of great beauty. It deals with powerful issues—not only heartache, but the darker side of love. The recording has a lived in feel. There is a life's worth of stories told here, as well as a few lessons learned.
The opening cut, Something Beautiful, establishes the feel and tone of the recording as a whole. It compares the current state of the world to the season of fall—there is fire, spilled gasoline in parking lots, with carbon birds and everything broken—described in stirring, poetic lyrics. Yet there is reason to hope for better times—for bells and doves and clear blue skies. This is an anthem for our troubled times—for each one of us struggling to make it through another day. Miles takes up the banner for better days ahead.
I Will is a classic Miles song. Just when you thought she had everything to say about the loss of love, she pulls out a stunner like this one. Here she takes a long, hard look at herself and her life and decides to pull herself up once more because she knows that it is the one thing she can do:
And I will 'cause I've been here before
The story of a warrior on the battlefield of love is perfectly told in the country tune Cracked and Broken, complete with multi-talented musician/producer Ian Lefeuvre's superb work on drums, keyboard and even mandolin.
Miles gets to the heart of the matter of physical and verbal abuse in intimate relationships in Love Doesn't Hurt. Simply put to a lovely melody: "love isn't mean and love doesn't hurt…love is good love is kind warms your /heart and fills your mind/makes you strong and sets you free/even when you disagree."
It's time to call it quits, when you need to say Goodbye, featuring a perfect duet between Jim Bryson and Lynn Miles.
The recording closes with a torch song that sounds like a throwback to the great popular songs of the forties and fifties—Time to Let the Sun In. There is a lush swell of the sound of violins arranged by Ian Lefeuvre that, simply said, needs to be heard over and over again. This is the hope for the beauty of life and living that Miles leaves us with. It is what makes up get up each and every day—the wish for a bright future.
There is a reason why Lynn Miles has won Canada's greatest music award, the Juno. She is simply the best at what she does—writing and performing songs about our lives. Her stories are our stories; her voice is our voice. Whether she is addressing the pain of heartbreak, or the hope that the right kind of love will come her way, the artistry of Miles's vocals shines through.
Fall for Beauty is not only one of the best albums of the year, but one of the best recordings of any year. She may be Canada's troubadour, but she belongs to all of us. Her talent is a shining light on a dark day; a beacon of timeless beauty.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
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