(Wax Records)

By Keith Sharp

“Back in the day”, which is what people say when they want to get nostalgic, the pre-Christmas sales period was restricted to “Greatest Hit” packages, K-Tel Alyssa-Reid-Publicity-Shot-Newreleases or those cheesy Christmas song collections (sorry Michael Buble). But now that downloads and streaming have virtually trashed actual product releases, the coast is clear for artists like this Edmonton native to release a new title at this time, and what a release it is! Reid may have received credit as a songwriter (Virginia To Vegas & Autumn Hill) but this set of eight songs, recorded with just a piano accompaniment (except for two minor string arrangements on two songs) provides a great showcase for her singing and songwriting prowess. Songs like “Beautiful”, which makes a strong statement about self image, and “Tomorrow” about regret and the need for redemption are two powerful songs which also receive full arrangement treatment on radio edits which are added to the set as definite hit contenders. Nothing pretentious here, for the most part, just Reid and her piano emitting eloquent lyrics and soulful melodies. Featured here are reworks of “Can’t Keep Waiting”, a song she wrote for Autumn Hill and “We Are Stars” for Virginia To Vegas”, but it’s as a solo performer that Reid shines and Phoenix should rekindle the spark she originally ignited with her debut “The Game” release back in 2011.

Download: “Tomorrow” (both versions) , “Beautiful”.

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