CD REVIEW: Victoria Blythe- Silver Flyer
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"eloquent and masterful"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Award winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Victoria Blythe (vocals) combines jazz, folk and pop music into original songs in a style uniquely her own. Her thrilling beautiful vocals have been compared to Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell, Paula Cole, Sandy Denny and Evanescence. It says on her website “Joni Mitchell meets Norah Jones.” This latest 13 Track effort entitled “Silver Flyer” was released in CD was released in 2014.
The CD gently takes flight with title track a smooth as silk intro groove that serves up an inviting vocal groove against impressive fretwork, eloquent silk rhythm section and mesmerizing vocal delivery from Blythe. Track 2 “I’ve Got You (I Feel Good)” presents a slow moving piece that serves up a methodical musical build with a passionate melodic delivery with heartfelt vocals from Blythe that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. It’s actually quite brilliant how Blythe makes this classic James Brown piece her own – I only wish it was longer. Track 3 “Blind” delivers an upbeat melody with impressive strings, thought provoking lyrical content and hypnotic vocals. The production quality is impressive and the musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. I would classify this music as high end Pop, Jazz, earthy Soul and even contemporary singer/songwriter with a dash of Rhythm and Blues. Along the way you will notice an array of instrumentation with things like Electric Piano, Organ, Guitar, upright bass, whistling, impressive solo segments and sporadic percussive accents all built upon a solid rhythm section foundation. Song for song the combination of Blythe’s voice and earthy fretwork are eloquent and masterful. Now turning our attention over to Blythe, as for her vocal abilities she is quite impressive. Her vocal style is cut from the cloth of Sara McLaughlin, Sara McLaughlin, Norah Jones and Dido to Alannah Myles. Music sometimes reminds me of Billy Joel, Acoustic Heart (Ann Wilson) and Anita Baker. It definitely works well within the confines of this catalogue. Blythe delivers a jaw dropping vocal skill set with impressive vibrato, falsetto and overall vocal passion clearly showcases a strong and confident vocal ability. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. Her falsetto is to die for. This is an amazing quality that not many artists can execute. This X-Factor quality clearly makes Blythe a marquee talent. No doubt she has solid musical instincts behind the microphone. All engineering aspects check out perfectly. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. This CD from Blythe delivers 14 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating. There isn't a weak song on this entire catalog. From thought provoking “Good Enough” and “Coming Home” to swinging “Dancing with you all by Myself” to melodic “The Deep Blue of Midnight” to striking “Feel you in my Bones” to hypnotic “The Deep” and "Tanglewood Tree" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 13 “Waiting For the Sun” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this.
It’s hard to find serious weakness with this production. One song under 3 minutes feels like an incomplete statement to me. I also wish I heard more vocal harmonies from Blythe. Like Joni Mitchell Blythe showcases a rather sharp timbre especially within the higher registries. When she uses her power in conjunction with this it can be a wear on the senses over time. This occurs on just a few songs. I would recommend Blythe dial down her power and intensity on some of the slower parts and save that power for the finales and some of the chorus, or when the musk calls for it. This last comment is not a “hit” per say just a humble recommendation for future work.
I like everything about Victoria Blythe. She's truly an infectious artist that possess a "Gold Standard" - look, sound, appeal, talent and impressive vocal presence. From start to finish “Silver Flyer” by Victoria Blythe is an impressive catalogue of music. The music is warm and earthy, highly passionate, uplifting and very passionate. The pin drop moments are amazing, and her falsetto is to die for. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist that has quite a lot to offer. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is extremely consistent and fills the space with what I would describe as peaceful earthy-jazzy exuberance.