ALBUM REVIEW: Doreen Taylor "Magic"

Casting a spell on the country music world all the way from upstate New York is the captivating voice of Doreen Taylor, and the songstress' new album "Magic" might just be the perfect potion for country chart success.

The 11-song album begins with "Last Call (for Alcohol)," which has a retro cool Olivia  Newton-John vibe that works. The melody is super-catchy, and Taylor's powerful vocals sparkle. It must be mentioned that Doreen Taylor is 1) not a musical novice 2) not the typical new country artist. That is because she hails from the Great White Way - yes, Broadway. Indeed, Taylor has been performing on and off Broadway for years - most notably opposite Davis Gaines in Phantom Of The Opera (playing the female lead role of Christine).

With a Master's Degree in opera, Taylor has surprisingly strong country music chops. "Another Rainy Night In Memphis" is a nuanced and powerful vocal performance that evokes memories of a mixture of Bonnie Tyler and Crystal Gayle. The upbeat "K.I.S.S." has much of the same charm.

"Music's My Magic"  is the album's biggest surprise as it highlights Doreen Taylor as a musical storyteller. "Heartbeat" is a darker cut that has a sultry vibe that works, but it is the quiet "Perfect For Me" that steals the show. Doreen Taylor utilizes her amazing vocal talent to its full effect in an award-worthy performance. Bravo.

The Gretchen Wilson-esque "Better Call Me A Lady" is an authentic track that tackles the hard times women face in a time of recession. However, Taylor's diversity is best shown on the classic "Summertime," which has a uniquely wonderful arrangement that blends blues and country with a remarkably pleasing effect.

"Magic" is a polished and carefully crafted album that deserves attention. Move over Taylor Swift, there's a new Taylor in town.

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