Make It Mine Heather Pierson 2010 / Vessel Recordings 61’31”
I don’t review many vocal albums, but I enjoyed Heather Pierson’s 2012 solo piano The Open Road so much that I was curious about this other aspect of her musical persona. I’m impressed! The sixteen original songs present an eclectic variety of musical styles that include folk, pop, blues, gospel, country, and pop. Pierson’s voice is strong yet vulnerable, conveying tremendous emotional depth and passion as she tells stories about life, social issues and ills, love and loss, and more in a no-nonsense style that gets her point across. Pierson accompanies her singing on piano and guitar, with occasional layered voices. Perhaps it is the minimal accompaniment, but Pierson is a rare vocalist whose words come through clearly without sounding forced or exaggerated. Even so, there is a wonderful 20-page booklet included with the CD that contains all of the lyrics and many photos of Pierson - an exceptionally nice package.
All of the songs on Make It Mine are strong, lyrical, and poetic, but I’ll mention a few favorites. “Brothers Still” is a gentle ballad about the lives of two brothers and how differently their lives turned out even though they came from the same beginnings. “Make It Mine” includes organ and drum along with piano in a spirited gospel-tinged celebration of the ups and downs in everyday life. “The Perfect Shade of Green” is an angry ode to a superficial jerk. “Winter Tans” bemoans the disparity in social class between the poor and homeless and the rich women who are too busy socializing to notice them - this one packs a wallop! “What’s Inside” is a painful and passionate song about deception and the loss of love. “Wild Child” is an upbeat and rousing ballad about youthful dreams and rebellion (as well as a certain amount of delusion) - this one must be great fun in a concert setting! I love “Starlight,” a love song of sorts to a single star and how its journey compares to our individual lives, doing our best to shine with the time we have - beautiful. The closing song, “Let It Be So,” is a quiet anthem to love, joy, and peace - let it be so.
I’m thrilled to have found Heather Pierson and her wonderful music - both vocal and instrumental! Her music is available from HeatherPierson.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!