a3050806749_10An interesting and damned fine debut from Chicago’s Natalie Myre.  This singer-songwriter has a wonderful voice and a way with writing a song that makes the listening a pleasure trip, and one listen to Breaking Forward is all you’ll need to understand why.  The record strikes a wonderful balance by mixing shades of ’70s-styled piano-driven pop with a bit of country and jazzy flavors — and the sound of the album fits the songs perfectly.

“Urge” opens the album and goes from a slightly-country tinged piece into a time shift of upbeat pop, matched with Ms. Myre’s dynamically energetic vocals; “Stay in Your Lane” is a slower, but powerfully passionate piece filled with melody and delicious harmonies, and “Worth Fighting For” has radio hit written all over it – uptempo, catchy and instantly classic.  “In the Meanwhile” has a delicate acoustic guitar body and is beautifully minimal – just the accompaniment and her voice; “I’m Sorry” is another breakneck radio-ready pop gem and “Love Will Win” is elegant in its slowness, building from piano and acoustic guitar and then bringing in a “band” on the chorus and carrying the song through gently and tastefully.

The quality of this album cannot be overstated.  Mature, fully realized, melodic and holds together from start to finish.  All the best criteria for what I think is a good album – and in this case, I’d say a great album.  Natalie Myre: make note of the name.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Breaking Forward is available now.