Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune

What Kinda Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Sometimes, despite the ever-growing piles of CDs in the "to be reviewed" bins of the Pierce Archives, I find myself locked into one particular disc. Maybe it's because I keep thinking I'm missing something the band is trying to get across to me; maybe it's because I think the CD is so good that I don't want to stop listening to it just yet.

In the case of Miss Fortune, it's a little bit of both when you talk about their self-titled debut. With a sound reminiscent of the GIn Blossoms meeting Elvis Costello and "Key West Intermezzo"-era John Mellencamp, this quartet from Boston seems to be on the right path for success.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Kicking things off with a strong track like "Disappear" is a good move for the band - vocalist Ryan Link, guitarist/vocalist Jay Barclay, bassist Jon Hindmarsh (who apparently has since left the band) and drummer Chris Hobbick. The track doesn't have the glitzy production or the hook that could light the music world on fire. No, this is a bare-bones track that is just a well-written, well-executed song. Hey, there's an original idea in this era of pre-packaged pabulum.

In fact, Miss Fortune contains many such songs which are low on glitz but high on songwriting quality. Whether producer David Medeiros intentionally cut down on the studio flash he could have put on this recording is not known - and, to be truthful, there are occasional moments when Miss Fortune goes into Goo Goo Dolls mode that such a spin on the sound would have been beneficial ("Peek"). But leaving the band to fend for themselves does allow the listener to hear the music uncluttered with such trickery. There's something special about hearing music on a more organic level; tracks like "Swim" and "If You Died" might not have been as powerful with that coat of sonic wax.

Yet Miss Fortune is still a young band feeling their way through a tough, uncaring market, and they are still honing their craft. This isn't to say that tracks like "Tell You Things," "Before" and "Art Type" are bad in any sense. But what Miss Fortune does need to discover in their style is how to keep the listener on the edge of their chair from the first guitar chord to the last fadeout. On Miss Fortune, the listener almost is lulled into a level of comfort with the sound, meaning some of the latter tracks could get lost in the ether. This, I don't think, was intentional.

Boston has been known on the musical map for giving us Aerosmith and, uh, Boston (amongst other groups). Given a little more time together, the scars of life on the road and more experience, Miss Fortune could well be the next gift that Beantown has to offer us. Miss Fortune is a decent enough disc, but it seems to suggest that the best is yet to come. If this is indeed the case, I'll be eagerly awaiting that.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of What Kinda Records, and is used for informational purposes only.