Melody Place Music 2020
Review by David Bowling
Sometimes it’s the melody, sometimes it may be the words, other times it’s a guitar solo, but every once in a while it is all about the voice; and so we come to Lisa Mills.
Mills does not have a perfect voice or the best voice, but it is memorable. She draws you in by her ability to emotionally emphasize each word and make you anticipate what is coming next.
The Triangle is not only her first album for Melody Place Music but is the label’s debut release as well.
At this point in her career, she is an interpreter of other people’s songs and the 14 tracks that comprise the album are an eclectic mix ranging from the Great American Songbook, to straight pop, light jazz, and the blues.
Emblematic of her approach is a cover of the old standard, “Just Walking In The Rain,” recorded live at Sun studios in Memphis. Made a hit by Johnny Ray, her version is more in tune with the original 1953 recording by the do-wop group The Prisonaires. Her voice strains to carry the song but ultimately turns it into a smooth R&B type performance.
Cole Porter’s “Same Time Same Place” and “A Place Nobody Can Find” are re-imagined as a fusion of jazz and soul that would fit a smoky lounge late at night. “Greenwood Mississippi” and “Tell Mama” are more blues oriented and her vocals have a little more bite.
Mills is one of those artists who has the ability to take a song and make it fit her style, which makes her take unique.
The Triangle is her coming out party and is an excellent introductory journey through the style, mind and voice of Lisa Mills.