West Coast Performer Review – Naked

west-coast-performer-review-naked

from West Coast Performer Magazine:

Oh My! Michael Scott Parker – Naked

Produced, mixed and engineered by Michael Scott Parker and John Standish at Pink Elephant Studios in San Francisco, CA and City Tracks Studios in Colorado Springs, CO | Additional production by Barry Wedgle | Mastered by John Standish

Michael Scott Parker must have toddled around the house sans clothes just a bit more often than the average child. Everything about her latest album, Naked, from soul-exposing lyrics to emotive melodies, reveals a free spirit unafraid to strip for artistic expression.

Recently relocated to liberal bastion San Francisco — but seemingly risen from the sea — Parker, AKA Oh My!, proves a new goddess is in town, poised to join the female singer/songwriter elite. Vocally, Parker evokes both Tori Amos’ sultry-smooth rasp and angelic moan, as on the stark chamber ballad “Toy Piano,” and Albini-era PJ Harvey on the title track and “Mi Ute,” where she wields not much more than an electric guitar and a spitting banshee shriek.

Lyrically, Parker comes off as a bona fide muse set to plant the seed of self-expression into all of Earth’s creatures. “Let’s make crazy / it’s time to play,” she beckons enticingly on the rollicking album opener, “Let’s Make Crazy,” luring listeners to join in the fun of breaking loose from life’s cages. Overt feminism permeates other tracks, most notably on the resolute acoustic star “Natural to Me” as Parker asserts, “I’m gonna be the woman to change everyone’s mind … I’m not sure if they’re ready for women like us.”

Parker’s renaissance tendencies — she wrote, performed, produced and designed much of Naked — mostly get the job done. But the handful of guest musicians dropping in with sax, violin or synth, among other instruments, occasionally fail to meld with the staple guitars, creating a disjointed effect. And with such fervent honesty and genre-hopping, from alt-country to folk pop to raw rock, Parker could have trouble tracking down her audience.

But listener beware: though no lions or tigers or bears pop up on Oh My!’s Naked, her charismatic wizardry can grow scary-infectious to even the most unsuspecting ears. (Self-released)

www.creaturerock.com

-Julia Cooper


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