May I Suggest .....

Shannon C Burns
6/25/08

'No Lies,' by Tracy Bone

It's no wonder Tracy Bone was named Best New Artist of 2007 at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. It's also no surprise that she won Best New Artist, Best Country CD, Single of the Year, Best Songwriter, and Best Album Cover Design at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.

Bone is the latest young female American Indian artist to bring her music to a mainstream audience through talent and personality. The Manitoba native and mother of five has had a whirlwind year with the release of her debut album, ''No Lies.''

The artist has been identified as a pop singer, country singer and R&B singer; the potpourri of sounds on her album can be similarly diverse.

After putting ''No Lies'' into the CD player, the first thing that's noticeable is Bone's resemblance to country star Martina McBride. They share a smooth, sweet tone that country fans love and Bone has created the perfect blend of country twang and Canadian accent.

Though many of the album's songs are melancholy and sweet, Bone makes it clear early on that she has a voice powerful enough to be compared to Reba McIntyre. Her natural beauty carries over to her voice, and she belts out notes with strength and passion that might be suprising.

Bone wrote nine of the 10 tracks on the album herself.

Although most of the songs on the ''No Lies'' album can be categorized as ''country,'' a few of the tracks carry a heavy pop influence that are perfect for Bone's sweet voice.

The song ''Reality'' starts out with a young pop sound, but switches to a country blend later on.

''The Air I Breathe'' might be the best showcase of Bone's ability. The song starts out soft and builds up like a classic ballad. Listeners can sense Bone absorbing her own words as she gets lost in thought while still singing each word with fervor.

In the first two songs, ''Standards'' and ''Lonely with You,'' a comparison can be made between Bone and the early sounds of Oneida artist Joanne Shenandoah. Both sing with a gentle voice that carries strong words and underlying meaning. The words and sounds are captivating, and it's hard not to wonder what the artist is thinking and feeling in the moment she's singing.

In the album's fifth track, ''Your Own,'' Bone washes away all outside distractions and the listener is presented with just her voice, pure and soft, and the sounds of piano keys as they're lightly played. The song gives listeners a more intimate side of Bone and it further tests her range of talent as she bounces between country and pop and brings her vocals to new heights. It should be a fan favorite.

The song ''Blind'' is the most unique sound on the album and is difficult to classify into any of Bone's typical genres. It starts out with gentle chanting in the background and pleasant piano playing that seems to be telling a story. The mood is like that of a Cirque du Soleil performance - artistic and compelling.

Perhaps the most high-profile track on the ''No Lies'' album is the one that shares its name. The ''No Lies'' track is a duet between Bone and her fiance, J.C. Campbell.

Campbell, who is considered a rock, country and blues artist, lists some of his own influences as being the Beatles, Lenny Kravitz, Willy Nelson, Colin James and Ray Charles. He is a perfect singing companion for Bone as they sing with just as much passion as James Blunt in ''You're Beautiful.'' Campbell's voice is hypnotic as he starts the song out deeply, pulling the listener in instantly, before Bone's voice adds to the infatuation. ''No Lies'' is the album's best song.

Overall, the album is undoubtedly one of the best Native productions this year and Bone has great potential to secure a lifelong career in the music industry. Her fans in the American Indian music industry will surely push for her to reach a wide audience and she has the voice and enthusiasm to reach her dreams.

To hear some of Bone's songs, visit www.myspace.com/tracybone.

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