April 1998

Billie Myers- Growing Pains
Universal Records UD-53100
Released: 1997

by Jay Piriz

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ***1/2
Overall Enjoyment ***1/2

[Reviewed on CD]The first time I heard a Billie Myers tune I was riding in my car. It was raining very hard and the skies were gray and heavy. There was a chill in the late-afternoon air and things in the environment were just melancholy. The song on the radio was "Kiss The Rain," the first cut on Myers’ debut CD. The song, although also somewhat melancholy, was full of emotion and inspiration, and replete with lyrical poignancy. It made me sit up and take notice.

Billie Myers, it is said, has been most inspired by two powerful and talented female artists: Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Tracy Chapman. The influence and the resemblance are all over this recording. Myers has a chameleon-like voice. She changes octaves and goes from one style to another on different songs without missing a beat. She can sound like different people.

On "First Time," Myers’ voice is Chrissie Hynde incarnate; right from the opening lyrics: "whew, let’s go!" While not sufficiently refined yet, Myers has great promise as both a songwriter and a singer. No doubt as she matures, she will begin to evolve in her own unique musical style with less dependency on the styles of others.

Although Myers’ performance is emotional, passionate, and inspired, the sonic character of this recording is just marginally better than average. The recording itself is a bit "hot," requiring a reduction in the volume department to obtain loudness levels comparable to other recordings. The overall sound of the CD is a bit dirty, sounding a lot like FM radio instead of high-fidelity audio.

Billie Myers is a pop-rock artist with great promise. Although Growing Pains is an enjoyable recording, I look forward to Ms. Myers aging during the next year or two, when she will perhaps outgrow these pains and settle into some real growing.