Queen of Vancouver Island

Queen of Vancouver Island

by Carolyn Mark
     
 

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If one word could be used to sum up Carolyn Mark's seventh solo album, The Queen of Vancouver Island, it would be "clever." Which is both a good and a bad thing; Mark is an excellent singer and a distinctive songwriter, and she certainly knows how to make the most of her tunes and her instrument on this album. However, she has a sense of humor that'sSee more details below

Overview

If one word could be used to sum up Carolyn Mark's seventh solo album, The Queen of Vancouver Island, it would be "clever." Which is both a good and a bad thing; Mark is an excellent singer and a distinctive songwriter, and she certainly knows how to make the most of her tunes and her instrument on this album. However, she has a sense of humor that's intelligent but never quite as smart as she thinks, and The Queen of Vancouver Island's Achilles' Heel is hearing Mark indulge her wit far more than is prudent. On "Not Talk," Mark points out a joke in one of her songs by laying in a laugh track after the punch line (which plays even worse than it sounds), and after telling us "Now, in the verse I'll just say some shit, leading up to the chorus, because everybody wants to sing along" in the title tune. Mark breaks the fourth wall again eight songs later on "The Cereal Is the Prize," singing "Maybe tomorrow, I'll sit down and write the third verse." And while "Old Whores" is an effective meditation on age and regret, using a similar metaphor on the next tune, "You're Not a Whore (If No One's Paying)" seems at once lazy and belabored. The worst part is Mark is clearly talented enough to know better; the best songs here, like "Best Friend," "Mellie's Book," and "Nobody's Perfect" demonstrate how good a tunesmith she can be when she hits her marks, and her vocals are wonderful throughout, with her cover of "Flaming Star" comparing favorably to Elvis Presley's stellar original. Mark also called upon a number of friends and colleagues for production and accompaniment, and they truly delivered the goods, giving the album a rich, eclectic sound that sways from pop to rock to country with easy assurance and joy. The Queen of Vancouver Island is a good album that could have been great if someone had given Carolyn Mark's songs a bit of editing before she went into the studio; it's still worth hearing, but one would imagine she'd have learned the difference between "clever" and "wise" by now.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2012
Label:
Mint Records
UPC:
0773871014321
catalogNumber:
143
Rank:
219908

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carolyn Mark   Primary Artist,Piano,Soloist
Jon Wood   Guitar,Background Vocals
Tolan McNeil   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar
John Raham   Drums
Kelly Haigh   Background Vocals
Paul Pigat   Electric Guitar
Laura Freeman   Banshee
Hank Pine   Cello,Choir, Chorus
Paul Rigby   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Rachelle Reath   Violin,Choir, Chorus
Ed Goodine   Drums
Jay Burnette   Children's Chorus
Grayson Walker   Piano
J. McLaughlin   Choir, Chorus
Brian Barr   Mandolin
Marco Bozenich   Steel Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Dennis Siemens   Bass,Choir, Chorus
Tess Kitchen   Trumpet
Terri Upton   Bass,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Harmony
Shalalala Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Scott Delisle   Choir, Chorus
Sasha Burnette   Children's Chorus
Ryen Froggert   Bass
Petra Mark   Children's Chorus
Paul Oppers   Harmonica,Choir, Chorus
Pauls   Choir, Chorus
Juli Steemson   Drums
Joel Fernandes   Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar
James Insell   Choir, Chorus
Ian Mark   Children's Chorus
Allen Pleasants   Trombone

Technical Credits

Sid Wayne   Composer,Lyricist
Jon Wood   Engineer
John Raham   Engineer
Carolyn Mark   Layout
Adrian   Engineer
Myke Hall   Engineer
Graemme Brown   Mastering
Sherman Edwards   Composer
Brian Barr   Engineer
Randy Iwata   Layout
Nic Calder   Engineer
Ilijc Albanese   Cover Photo

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