Shana Morrison

7 Wishes

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Born with a pedigree that might have hung like a millstone around her neck, the daughter of Van Morrison turns in a refreshing, if somewhat pedestrian solo debut on 7 Wishes. Her songs reflect little of her father's influence, and she sings in a light, accessible style that few would associate with Celtic music or the blues. Her voice is alternately assertive and insinuating; on certain tunes she slips in and out of character, going from saucy and flirtatious on "Cherry on Top" to some slightly uncomfortable ersatz-sanctified riffing on "God Must Love Me"; these transformations suggest an unsettled persona more than insight into diverse lyrics. When the elder Morrison makes his guest appearance on "Sometimes We Cry," his unmistakable intensity seems to ground her; even before he starts his primal chant on the outgoing chorus, Shana connects directly with the words and digs deep into the feel, showing none of the superficial role-playing that colors some of her other performances. With a team of Nashville session aces providing the backup, Morrison turns in a professional performance that, perversely, might have benefited had she showed more derivative inclinations.

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