Saskatchewan certainly has a diversity of musicians spending time in the studio these days rolling out a variety of music.
In some cases the music is a touch hard to pigeon-hole into a specific genre, something we reviewers tend to like to do since it helps you the reader understand the sound of the recording. Leanne Hynd is one of those artists with a sound that crosses genres rather easily, and on Ultimate Paradox she certainly shows that.
In some cases, the songs have a pop rock feel, then as you listen, you realize there are elements that could have the same song find a home on some progressive county station, or perhaps a soft jazz spot on the radio dial.
Adding the paradoxical aspects of this effort is the fact that the eight songs included here are provided firstly in an electronic musical version, and then again in acoustic fashion. It's an interesting twist to the whole effort.
Dead Or Alive could certainly go country, Will You Fly is more jazzy and All There has a pop leaning.
In many cases when an artist goes all over the board I find it distracting. However Hynd avoids that problem because even with individual songs there are little snip-its of various genres, making the musical diversity itself the common thread which binds this CD together.
I love the jazz horn intro to Man of Mystery, another example of the variety of approach Hynd puts into this CD. Then when she switches to the acoustic set the songs go into blues mode with harmonica replacing the horn, and it works as a blues tune the Nth degree.
Interestingly a lot of her acoustic arrangements have a deep blues feel, making that side of the CD my personal favourite.
The title song itself is a song with superb lyrics that are a nod to its folkish-feel. This might well be the best cut on the album.
Through the melding of styles Hynd's crystal clear voice rings through. This lady has a voice that can carry whatever musical genre she chooses to pursue.
Ultimate Paradox is a step forward musically for Hynd from her previous release Somewhere In Between, which itself is a good effort, but doesn't quite push the edges as mush as Hynd manages on the more recent release. With Paradox she takes several musical threads and weaves them well. Make sure to check it out at www.leannehynd.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 8, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada