Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meiko Looks On The Bright Side

Live Unplugged
Saturday, 12.1.12, 2 PM PT
Slidebar, Fullerton, CA

The Bright Side
Fantasy/Concord Records
Five scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

When I found out that singer/ songwriter Meiko was playing an acoustic set in my hometown of  Fullerton at the Slidebar this afternoon (Saturday December 1, 2 PM) I had to delve a little deeper into her music so I downloaded her latest album.

Meiko is one of the most promising and most played singer-songwriters to emerge from the Southern California indie music scene in recent years. Counting among her influences artists are artists as diverse as Patty Griffin, Sade, and Portishead, Meiko has managed to craft songs of sweet disquiet with a girl next door feel .

It was "only a matter of time" before she found her way onto the influential "Morning Becomes Eclectic" radio program on KCRW FM (Link and listen each weekday through Bosco Radio Arts and Entertainment at 9 AM PDT) . Meiko's music became a staple of the Los Angeles area radio station's playlist.

Her latest album, The Bright Side, is eleven poppy, catchy tunes that does not deviate from her successful formula of the past. This is the sequel to her 2008 self-titled debut.

This album builds upon the singer/songwriter's bouncy indie pop sound. Working with producers Styrofoam and  Jimmy Messer (Who has produced Kelly Clarkson among others), Meiko has perfected her pop sound while still retaining an intimate feel.

The unplugged show at the Slidebar this afternoon is going to play into Meiko's wheelhouse because she is primarily an acoustic singer/songwriter.   On the new album (as on her debut) Meiko fleshes out the songs with electric guitars, keyboards, violin, trumpet, and electronic beats. Showcasing her smoky yet sweet voice, Meiko's songs are full of thoughts of love, crushes, and the guys who got away.

The Bright Side is primarily a pleasant and light exercise that depends on her sense of a good hook, as on "Thinking Too Much",  "Let It Go.", and "Stuck on You".   The album gets a bit moody with "Leave the Lights On." but other than that the songs are light and breezy and never dark.

Perhaps on the next album she can explore the darker side of life....her voice and music would lend itself to it, but for now this latest by Meiko is very listenable and easy on the ears.  It should be a great show at Slidebar this afternoon.

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