Everything's Going My Way

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After several years of singing in hotels and bars across Southeast Asia and her native Quebec, French-Canadian vocalist Nadja finally got her big break when she was discovered by the legendary Mario Pelchat, who declared her "one of the greatest singers in the world" following a performance of "Georgia on My Mind." While her 2009 self-titled debut album, composed entirely of '60s jazz-pop covers, failed to shake off the inevitable cabaret tag, her Pelchat-produced sophomore Everything's Going My Way does at least attempt to convince audiences she's a serious recording artiste rather than a glorified karaoke singer. There's still a reliance on other musicians' work, with seven of the 13 tracks straightforward renditions of soul classics like the Supremes' "Baby Love" and Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life," jazz standards like Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack" and Etta James' "At Last," and musical numbers like Man of la Mancha's "The Impossible Dream." But elsewhere, there are six original compositions, co-written with the likes of Sylvain Quesnel and Dorian Sherwood (Celine Dion, Lara Fabian) and the Dutch trio of Joachim Vermeulen, Maarten Ten Hove, and Willem Laseroms (Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake) such as the toe-tapping brass-fused opener "Oh! No!," the shuffling blues of "Wish to Unwish," and the cartoonish doo wop of "Baby I'm Lonely," all of which showcase Nadja's impressive, whiskey-soaked vocals and knack for penning infectiously upbeat melodies. With its 50/50 split of new and old material, Nadja isn't quite ready just yet to join the same Winehouse league as Paloma Faith, Duffy, and Gabriella Cilmi, but Everything's Going My Way is certainly a step in the right direction, which suggests that she's capable of leaving her piano-bar background fully behind.

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