Over the past few months, we’ve been writing a lot about Meiko, and deservedly so. Though her debut album was released in 2007, she’s still a relatively new artist being that this is only her second release. After reviewing her live show at SXSW and an Artist of the Week feature, her album The Bright Side is finally out everywhere and let’s get to business and show you what we thought about the record.
The opening track, “Stuck To You” is a folky number that opens with the sound of snapping fingers, always a plus. When we spoke to the Georgia-native a few months ago, she told us that the tone of the album was going to be upbeat since she’s at a better place in her love, mostly because she’s in love now. This song demonstrates exactly that. It’s an ode to her special someone where her lyrics are heartfelt and fits the upbeat music well. Not only is it a tender tune, it’s a great way to set the tone for the album. Also, being very poppy without losing the coffeehouse sound that made her first album likeable is an added bonus.
In fact, the poppiness she told us about back when we interviewed her is still the defining sound on the album. But what makes this album different than her debut is that she exudes confidence throughout. She’s in love and not afraid to say so (especially on the aptly titled “I’m In Love” and lead single “Leave The Lights On” is stellar as wel) and proves that a good pop song doesn’t have to show venom at a lover or have nonsensical lyrics. Meiko makes feeling good, well, feel good. She talks about being in love on most tracks and that can get a bit old and redundant, but hey, if the gal is in a good place, then more power to her.
Another factor to why this album flows so well is the understated production. On each track, Meiko takes chances by mixing up the songs with different sounds, like her experimentation with synths and yes, even a trace of dream-pop. By not affiliated with a major label, she’s able to make a more natural sounding album where the songs don’t feel forced or are catering to a certain demographic. That’s why the production here is solid and fits what the singer is trying to do. For this, we can thank her talented production team, which featured Belgian producer Styrofoam and Jimmy Messer amongst others.
While there are songs from across the board, the star of the show here is Meiko’s soothing vocals. They’re the lynchpin that holds the album together. Whether she dabbles in coffeehouse rock, ‘90s pop or dream-pop, the singer’s pipes are what makes this album distinctly her. Even when she’s pissed off, like on “I Wonder,” she makes it sound good and strikes an emotional chord with the listener It took the singer a long time to ready The Bright Side, but now that it’s out and ready for mass consumption, people should be excited to hear what this talented musician has in-store for the world.