When Melbourne native Marisa Yeaman surfaced six years ago with her debut "Pure Motive" (2005 - see review), I knew that someday she would deliver an album that deserves the title of masterpiece. With the next album "Roadmap Heart" (2008 - see review) she came pretty close immediately. "Roadmap Heart" proved a versatile album with influences from country, rock, folk and blues, a blend of catchy songs combined with depth and passion. Why "Roadmap Heart" was not widely picked up, I still do not understand, but now three years later with "Voices From The Underground" Marisa Yeaman brings a new opportunity. Let me just say that "Voices From The Underground" is the masterpiece that I predicted a few years ago. You don’t necessarily notice that immediately because Marisa Yeaman continues to play pure easy-on-the-ear-Americana that, at first listen, just seems to ripple onwards. Upon a closer listen to this album, it strikes you that with "Voices From The Underground" everything is correct.

Country is the basis, but like on "Roadmap Heart" Marisa Yeaman takes excursions into other genres. Yeaman moves across genres as easy as she travels through time. One moment you're in the middle of the year 1960, the next moment, the music of this Australian is firmly in the present. After travelling all over the world, Yeaman now lives in the Netherlands. Her life story is like a long journey, a journey which began when she was four when her parents sold their house and took to a caravan, to explore Australia extensively. Yeaman learned much of what she knows on the road and many of her songs are about travel. The opener on this album 'Warm Night in Austin' shows at once that this time around is no exception. This song describes perfectly what it is like to be a foreigner in the Texas city.

Her song writing is astounding, for that reason "Voices From The Underground" completely blows your socks off. Yeaman serves us twelve great singer-songwriter songs, stories of ordinary people in different countries, and how these characters being outsiders or misfits really stand in this world. Songs that prompt the listener also to ask questions. Listen to the songs such as "Galileo", "Nightingale" and "Montmartre Tonight", songs about people who in this world have made some important developments. Yeaman raises it all, What are we without art?, and how we make sense of our lives in this world that so often driven by consumerism? Yeaman suggests it is all in question with an honesty that touches us all.

Guest contributions include multi-instrumentalist Dave Steel who has been playing with her since her debut album, among several others. Musically it all sounds great and amazingly versatile. Country may perhaps be the basis for the music on this album, but Marisa Yeaman and the musicians that she gathered on this record draw strongly from folk, blues and rock. The pleasant sounding vocals are a constant factor on "Voices From The Underground". Like it's predecessor to hear the music on this album is enjoyable and accessible, yet the music is of quality and expressiveness. Marisa Yeaman has the ability to take the listener off the beaten track immediately without you noticing. Revealing to you a beautiful picture which develops more and more as you listen. A record that deserves the title of masterpiece in all respects. A must for lovers of the best female singer-songwriters of the moment.

All content © 2011 Deep Pearl Records
REVIEW
'Voices from the Underground' - Marisa Yeaman
Deep Pearl Records

ROOTSTIME- Belgium

Read in Dutch HERE