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Meryn Cadell


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Performance art / pop rock, comedic. (Neile)

Status:

Most recent album, 6 blocks (1997)

See also:

Meryn Cadell's site

Comparisons:

Laurie Anderson, Sandra Bernhard. (Neile)

Laurie Anderson and Suzanne Vega. (elisheva@netaxs.com)

Covers/own material:

Own material, occasional covers and co-writing

General comments:

Meryn Cadell is less off the wall than Laurie Anderson and almost more like a stand-up comic. Her work is a mixture of talk and song with punchlines. She has a wonderful voice and a wry sense of humour about modern life. (Neile)

I hadn't heard of this artist before my ex suggested her to me, saying it was "less musical" than most of my stuff, but I might like it. I love it! This is the star of my recent acquisitions. Basically, you get this woman (with a powerful, versatile voice and large range) either singing (a cappella or with minimal instrumentals), or talking (either alone or with minimal instrumentals). A lot of spoken word poems and cute little stories, some great funny moments, and a couple of very nice songs. Meryn's got a terrific voice, and would make a damned good voice-over actress, judging from the various voices she uses through this album, depending on the story. (NyxNight@aol.com)

Recommended first album:

Angel Food for Thought. (Neile)

Recordings:


Angel Food for Thought

Release info:

1992—Sire/Reprise U.S. & Canada—9 26877-2

Availability:

Now out of print and getting more difficult to find.

Ecto priority:

A must-have for lovers of amusing lyrics, good music. (Neile)

Group members:

Meryn Cadell

Guest artists:

Bob Wiseman, George Koller, Tim Vesely, Jim Creeggan, John Gzowski, Dave Clark

Produced by:

John Tucker and Meryn Cadell

Comments:

Meryn Cadell is much more than the novelty song that was the hit off this album, "The Sweater." For one thing, she really can sing and some of her songs are lovely as songs in and of themselves, even without her wry, funny lyrics. A couple of them won't wear well (like "The Sweater") but overall this is really worth listening to. (Neile)

A kinder-gentler Laurie Anderson?? Despite "The Sweater" song, it's mostly spoken pieces, but when she does sing, it's fantastic. Her satire is biting and her stories are lots of fun. (jmgurley@drizzle.com)

This is an inhumanly entertaining and innovative album. Half of Meryn's songs are spoken word, and all the songs contain at least some talking. Meryn is half EctoGoddess, half comedian, it seems—her "pieces" are simply hilarious, and her speaking and singing voice is beautiful, flawless, and diverse. Every piece is completely different. The songs are mostly a cappella or with sparse sound effects. I recommend this album to everybody. (elisheva@netaxs.com)

This album is a definite find, another one I recommend highly. There are lots of songs (on the order of 18) but it only clocks in at slightly more than a half hour. But what a half hour! I was repeatedly thrown into convulsions of laughter. She's got a great speaking voice and tells clever, biting stories over interesting musical backgrounds, and sings a few songs as well. The music was more electric, sometimes noisy and percussive, but always complimented the stories well. "The Sweater", about a girl acquiring the sweater of a high school boy (with a slightly goat-like smell) was played around on "alternative" radio. (neal)


Bombazine

Release info:

1993—Sire/Reprise in U.S. and Canada—9 45398-2

Availability:

Out of print and getting more difficult to find

Ecto priority:

Recommended for lovers of humour and music with pointed lyrics. (Neile)

Group members:

Meryn Cadell

Guest artists:

John Gzowski, George Koller, Andy Stochansky, Chris Whiteley, Ben Mink, Tyler Stewart, Thomas Neuspiel, Tom Third, Anne Bourne, The Reostatics, Dave Bindini, Dave Clark, Martin Tielli, Tim Vesely, Kathryn Rose, John Alcorn.

Produced by:

John Tucker and Meryn Cadell

Comments:

Just as brilliant and witty as Angel Food for Thought. (Neile)

Yum! I dunno why I never bought her first one, but I will some day. Especially after enjoying this one as much as I did. I'm told that this release emphasizes songs more than the vocal pieces that made her first so offbeat.... And I do wish that she did a few more of those spoken work type of things (something which is all to often lacking in pop music, discounting jello biafra and william burroughs and laurie anderson), but she gets enough of the weirdness and strange points of view into her song lyrics so it's not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. (woj@smoe.org)

Her second album, Bombazine, is also pretty good, but has never grabbed me the same way as Angel Food for Thought. It's more song-oriented, and less distinctive. (neal)


6 blocks

Release info:

1997—Handsome Boy, 181 Clinton Street, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6G 2Y4—HBCD 0017

Availability:

Canada

Ecto priority:

Recommended for lovers of humour and music with pointed lyrics. (Neile)

Group members:

Meryn Cadell—piano, programming, voice, air raid, sounds

Guest artists:

Anne Lindsay—violin
Anne Bourne—cello
Mary Margaret O'Hara—guest vocal
Chris Wardman—bass, guitars, door to the future, other sounds from under there, sounds, programming, percolator, shimmer & outboard guitars
Paul Brennan—drums, toms
Brian Leonard—percussion
David Baxter—surfin' guitar, guitar, slide guitar
Suzan Marie—bass
Jason Sniderman—piano
Martin Tielli—guitar and whales
Fergus Marsh—Chapman stick

Produced by:

Chris Wardman

Comments:

With her third (and first indie) album, Meryn Cadell seems to be concentrating more on songs rather than performance pieces. Of course, the lyrics are still strong and witty, but Meryn's voice seems to be highlighted rather than the storytelling. The music is quite wonderful, and so is her voice, but it somehow it just doesn't grab me as much as I would think it would have. Some great background vocals by Mary Margaret O'Hara. (Neile)

Further info:

Meryn Cadell appears on The Hanging Garden movie soundtrack.


Thanks to Art Liestman and Jens P. Tagore Brage for work on this entry.


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jmgurley @ drizzle.com

36 entries

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