Toronto-based singer/songwriter Mia Sheard explores deep subject matter while keeping the music hauntingly beautiful, sometimes creating a surprising contrast on upbeat tunes, on her second release, Reptilian. A bit of PJ Harvey, Joni Mitchell, and Sarah McLachlan may be heard, but Sheard makes each song her own with her stunning vocal capabilities and by pouring herself out for the listeners to relate to. Her sometimes powerful and sometimes understated vocals tell a story of where she has been and experience gained, also spinning tales of human nature. Opening track "Cover Girl" may come across as male bashing and feminist at surface level, but the lyrics are meant as a contrast between the treatment of women in Eastern and Western cultures. "Viaduct," a simply beautiful down-tempo number, makes you look to the lyrics to discover the story that lays beneath -- a suicide that Sheard witnessed at the Bloor Street viaduct in Toronto. Masking the uneasy and not-so-pleasing side of life with the well arranged, amazingly orchestrated sounds, this album might not be immediately accessible for most listeners, but the time taken to fully digest this album will not be in vain.
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AllMusic Review by Jennifer Jones