Megan Slankard Band
"Freaky Little Story"

(Self-Released 2003)Megan Slankard Band - Freaky Little Story

I, grudgingly, admit it: I saw Megan Slankard on TLC's "What Not To Wear" show getting a full make over in the summer of 2004. (Luckily, "What Not To Wear" is not the topic on trial.) Needless to say, when her sophomore album arrived, I was surprised. The 21 year old Slankard's feminine, bird-like voice is solid but still searching for direction on "Freaky Little Story."

A guilty-pleasure style hook-driven pop song, "Too Bad You" is predictable but catchy and cute. Scratching effects accent "Mocking Bird" as Slankard half vocalizes the choppy, syncopated chorus. Driving with melody, "Dirty Wings" and "Captain Madness" pick things up a bit while "Addy's Tattoo," a guitar and strings led ballad tries to shift the focus to storytelling. The "band" part of Megan Slankard Band is, indeed, only secondary on a majority of tracks, such as "Lose Me." It is on soaring, breathy choruses on "Give Life" that Slankard shows her real promise and on quiet ballads like the thoughtful and interesting "Nearly Almost Always Nearly Almost Anything," with acoustic guitar twinkling lightly, and the stiffer "Flying Backwards."

In the end, "Freaky Little Story" can be broken into three phases: an opening poppy sound, repetitive stripped-down tracks and, finally, stronger, more memorable songs. Slankard has the voice and songwriting skills, and quite an ability to craft memorable hooks, but needs to take more control, specifically of her voice. "Freaky Little Story" is fun and Slankard imaginative.

C+

buy it!