The music industry has been flooded with talented singer/songwriters the past
few years, but most of them have been men in a post-Lilith Fair statement of
sorts. But what goes around comes around, and there are some extremely talented
females on the horizon. Cara Aley of Boston is one of them, and her sophomore
effort, Bend, is proof of that.
Aley has a smooth voice nestled somewhere between Sarah MacLachlan and Natalie
Merchant, and songs that are as emotive as they are melodic and interesting.
“Luke” starts off innocently and morphs into a tight groove that instantly hooks
you. This album has smart arrangement and production throughout, and the
ready-for-radio song “Pray Tonight” is evidence of that. “Take Me Away” is a
beautiful, haunting ballad with a simple, yet powerful chorus. “Better Things”
has an almost R&B quality about it, and the title track is another melodic gem,
and possibly a symbol of what happens when we give too much in a relationship of
any kind. “Watercolor Sky” is another catchy pop tune among a mostly stellar
effort from Aley. Songs like “Never Gonna Say Goodbye” let the rhythm get in the
way of the song, but it’s hard to nitpick a record this strong.
Getting to a successful level as an independent artist is always a daunting
task, but Cara Aley’s got the goods to have a shot. She has a knack for writing
hooky songs, as well as a soul and passion in her music. Aley delivers that
whole package to her audience with conviction on Bend.