Between The Days

Merril Bainbridge

Universal Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


How fleeting does the alternative music scene seem to be today? When I read the press release for Australian singer Merril Bainbridge's latest album Between The Days, I couldn't remember what her first hit "Mouth" sounded like. My usual reference sites that have short sound clips? No help.

Sometimes, flying blind when listening to an artist you're not familiar with is a dangerous thing. However, in the case of Bainbridge, it meant going into the album without any preconceived notions. A good thing, too, for Between The Days is an album that dares you to accept it in all its pop glory, a task that is rather easy to do.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Bainbridge's vocals sound a little bit like Donna Lewis, though I think that Bainbridge has more range. The first single off the album, "Lonely," quickly establishes Bainbridge as a more than capable artist; the vocal harmonies that are weaved into the rhythm of this song are hooks that capture you from the get-go. After repeated listens to this disc, I have yet to get tired of that song.

But Bainbridge quickly demonstrates that there's more to her than just a pretty voice. Some songs, like "Walk On Fire" and "When You Call My Name," have more of an edge to them - throwing just enough spice into the mix to keep things interesting. "Walk On Fire" is a track that I could see as the next single... easy.

What carries Bainbridge from the softer, more introspective works like the title track to the slightly more raucous numbers is her voice. The old cliche is that a good singer could sing the phone book and keep you interested. I wouldn't go that far, but Bainbridge does demonstrate early and often that she has a solid set of pipes, and knows how to use them.

Some of the songs on Between The Days get a little too wrapped up in themselves for me ("Love And Terror," "Blindfolded"), but for the few weaker tracks on the album, there are numerous others ready to pick up the slack ("Big Machine," "Goodbye To Day").

In fact, the biggest complaint that I could have with Between The Days is a common complaint I have with good albums - it's too short! The ten songs on this one clock in at around 45 minutes - and Bainbridge is the kind of artist who I could have listened to much longer.

I still don't remember what "Mouth" sounds like, but if it's anywhere as good as the material on Between The Days, then I'll be willing to pick up Bainbridge's first album. Adult contemporary radio should fall over themselves rushing to get this album on the air. Leave your preconceived notions at the door, and accept Between The Days for what it is - a very good second effort.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1998 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 Universal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.