Independent Release

Review By Tony Cannella

Canada’s Viveynne are a project that features 14-year old MikailaMikkiStraatsma on vocals and piano. Yes, that’s right I said she is just 14-years old, although you wouldn’t know it by listening to the songs on the debut release titled “Becoming Jane Doe”. In addition to adding her lead vocals and contributing piano and synthesizer, Mikki wrote all of the music and lyrics on the EP. She has also received many awards and accolades for her music, which you can see on her MySpace site. “Blood to Bleed” sets the mood perfectly and is a powerful opener. Immediately Mikki‘s soaring, operatic vocals grab the listeners attention and then the rest of the musicians join in and the song really takes shape. The vocals are well out in front in the mix, but they don’t overshadow anything. The voice and the music go hand-in-hand and compliment each other very well. In fact, the musicians on this CD are very good and an integral part to the overall sound and feel of the songs. The next song, “Becoming Jane Doe” begins with a melancholic piano intro, and gets heavier around the first chorus. This is perhaps the highlight for me. This song is just so haunting, that it’s impossible not to love. Next is “This Phobia” and this track keeps things running smoothly. “Goodbye Good Morning” is just a beautiful straight-up ballad and another definite highlight. This song also features a very cool guitar solo. The song is very dramatic, orchestral and pretty. “It’s Been Dark” speeds things up a bit and moves along at a nice pace. The final three songs “The Exiled and Her Opera House”, “Come Crawling” and “Sounds of Starlight” definitely conclude things on a high and leaves the listener wanting more. Vocally, Mikki reminds me a bit of Amy Lee of Evanescence, but she also has her own thing going, she definitely packs a lot of power and passion in her delivery. All of the songs are in the 3-minute range and are very well written. The whole CD is very well produced, but not over-produced.It would be easy to dismiss this release and say “She’s good for a 14-year old” but her age is irrelevant. The fact is, she’s good for any age. Just listen to the 8-songs and 27-minutes worth of music that is contained on “Becoming Jane Doe” and judge them on their own merits and come to the realization that this is one heck of a CD. A thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.

Rating – 85/100

Tracklist 

  1. Blood to Bleed
  2. Becoming Jane Doe
  3. This Phobia
  4. Goodbye Good Morning
  5. It’s Been Dark
  6. The Exiled and Her Opera House
  7. Come Crawling
  8. Sounds of Starlight

 

Line Up 

  • Mikaila “Mikki” Straatsma –  Vocals Lead & Backup, Piano and Synthesizer
  • Beth Wilson –  Additional Backup Vocals (only in “Blood to Bleed” and “Becoming Jane Doe”)
  • Chuck Kollatos – Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, Additional Synth, Drums (only in “It’s Been Dark”)
  • John Lama  – Rhythm Guitar
  • Randy Solski – Drums, Percussion (all the songs except in “It’s Been Dark”) and Additional Bass Guitar (only in “The Exiled and Her Opera House”)

 

Links 

MySpace * ReverbNation * Facebook * Site

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