June 1998

Alannah Myles - Arival
Ark 21 7243 B 23002 2 9
Released: 1998
Additional Note: Canadian release with bonus four track CD

by Bruce Bassett

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

[Reviewed on CD]WARNING: The following review contains tongue-in-cheek references of a sexual nature intended for mature audiences only. Reader discretion is advised (but hey, this is the Internet).

She’s ba-ack. Canada’s bad girl of rock has "arived" back on the scene after her usual three-year interval between releases. And, not long after inserting the CD and pressing the button to turn her on, it became crystal clear that she has laid down her most polished and inspired work to date. Wrought with the emotions of troubled relationships and often dripping with sexuality, Arival begs for us to stand at attention and take notice.

Alannah Myles, never being one who is afraid to experiment, has come a long way since she surprised us with the success of her predominantly one-dimensional, yet wickedly delicious hard-driving self-titled debut [Atlantic A2 81956 1989]. Her subsequent two releases displayed more depth in character, but they lacked the intrinsic appeal of the rhythmic, primal aggression captured on her first release.

Now with multiple releases under her belt, one gets a sense that all of the pieces of the puzzle have finally come together. Myles comfortably straddles divergent styles, bringing it on hard in songs such as "Bad 4 You" and the "The Great Divide," while still retaining the ability to romance the listener while taking it slow and easy, as in "The Dance of Love" and "What Am I Gonna Do With You." With co-writing credits on all but one track, and noted as one of the producers, Myles holds the dominant position on Arival, and I suspect that this might not have been the case in the past. In any event, I rather enjoy her on top of the effort because the overall result is a powerful and captivating collection of well-developed songs.

With Alannah Myles’ Arival, I can honestly avow that I, for one, am elated that she decided to come.