Jan 14 2010

Shellee Coley – The Girl The Stencil Drew

Category: H-Town Rock,Music In My Earsdryvetyme @ 07:00
Readability

Shellee Coley - The Girl The Stencil Drew

Shellee Coley
The Girl The Sten­cil Drew
Red Tree Music Group; 2009

The Girl The Stencil Drew

[Dis­claimer: While I do not know, nor have I ever met Shellee Coley, I have known her pro­ducer for sev­eral years.]

My affec­tion for Amy Grant knows few bounds. As opposed to just about any­one else who’s ever been any­thing close to a “super­star” in Con­tem­po­rary Chris­t­ian Music (CCM) cir­cles, Mrs. Gill has never had a prob­lem singing real songs about real life sit­u­a­tions, no mat­ter how rough or uncom­fort­able things might be. Whether we’re talk­ing about her mag­num opus (Lead Me On), her big “crossover” pop record (Heart In Motion), or any­thing else in her canon, there’s some­thing true and uncom­pro­mis­ingly hon­est about her music. Much like her “sec­u­lar” country/​folk-​rock con­tem­po­raries, she’s never been inter­ested in sug­ar­coat­ing her inner strug­gles just to sell a record or score a hit sin­gle.

Hous­ton, TX singer-​songwriter Shellee Coley pos­sesses those self-​same lyri­cal propen­si­ties in spades, which makes her debut release, The Girl The Sten­cil Drew, unde­ni­ably appeal­ing. Son­i­cally, this is an extremely acces­si­ble, should-​be-​radio-​friendly blend of folk, coun­try, and pop akin to Grant’s Behind The Eyes and Patti Griffin’s Flam­ing Red. But more impor­tantly, these six songs fea­ture the sort of straight-​from-​the-​kitchen sen­ti­ments about mar­ried life and fig­ur­ing out adult­hood that should ring true to those of us who have thank­fully grown too old for teenage paeans about naïve love.

More­over, the album is high­lighted by a classy, pin­point pro­duc­tion aes­thetic, one that puts Coley’s vivid voice up front-​and-​center. Her expres­sive, dusky alto, sits up tall over the instru­men­ta­tion, which itself is big and full. There’s a dis­tinct knack for bal­ance and clar­ity on dis­play here, com­plete with a keen desire to make sure that Coley’s lyrics are clearly heard, but with­out over­whelm­ing the mix.

Led by “Uncom­fort­able” (a track about strug­gling with body image issues) and “I Want To Know” (a song about frus­tra­tions with unknow­ing and the accom­pa­ny­ing ques­tions), The Girl The Sten­cil Drew is a smart, sharp, taut lit­tle pop record. There’s noth­ing done to excess here, as every­thing from the pro­duc­tion lev­els to the emo­tional lev­els seem to be in the right place and in the right amounts. And much like her styl­is­tic influ­ences, Shellee Coley knows how to tell a great story while allow­ing the lis­tener room to place him/​herself inside the song for even greater impact.

Shellee Coley
The Girl The Stencil Drew
Red Tree Music Group; 2009

The Girl The Stencil Drew

[Disclaimer: While I do not know, nor have I ever met Shellee Coley, I have known her producer for several years.]

My affection for Amy Grant knows few bounds. As opposed to just about anyone else who’s ever been anything close to a “superstar” in Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) circles, Mrs. Gill has never had a problem singing real songs about real life situations, no matter how rough or uncomfortable things might be. Whether we’re talking about her magnum opus (Lead Me On), her big “crossover” pop record (Heart In Motion), or anything else in her canon, there’s something true and uncompromisingly honest about her music. Much like her “secular” country/folk-rock contemporaries, she’s never been interested in sugarcoating her inner struggles just to sell a record or score a hit single.

Houston, TX singer-songwriter Shellee Coley possesses those self-same lyrical propensities in spades, which makes her debut release, The Girl The Stencil Drew, undeniably appealing. Sonically, this is an extremely accessible, should-be-radio-friendly blend of folk, country, and pop akin to Grant’s Behind The Eyes and Patti Griffin’s Flaming Red. But more importantly, these six songs feature the sort of straight-from-the-kitchen sentiments about married life and figuring out adulthood that should ring true to those of us who have thankfully grown too old for teenage paeans about naïve love.

Moreover, the album is highlighted by a classy, pinpoint production aesthetic, one that puts Coley’s vivid voice up front-and-center. Her expressive, dusky alto, sits up tall over the instrumentation, which itself is big and full. There’s a distinct knack for balance and clarity on display here, complete with a keen desire to make sure that Coley’s lyrics are clearly heard, but without overwhelming the mix.

Led by “Uncomfortable” (a track about struggling with body image issues) and “I Want To Know” (a song about frustrations with unknowing and the accompanying questions), The Girl The Stencil Drew is a smart, sharp, taut little pop record. There’s nothing done to excess here, as everything from the production levels to the emotional levels seem to be in the right place and in the right amounts. And much like her stylistic influences, Shellee Coley knows how to tell a great story while allowing the listener room to place him/herself inside the song for even greater impact.

5 Responses to “Shellee Coley – The Girl The Stencil Drew”

  1. Tweets that mention Dryvetyme Onlyne » Shellee Coley – The Girl The Stencil Drew -- Topsy.com says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Bellini and Adam P. Newton, shellee coley. shellee coley said: RT @tweetmeme Shellee Coley – The Girl The Stencil Drew http://is.gd/6fyne [...]

  2. Jennifer H says:

    Bravo! I love this CD to the core! Can’t wait for more!

  3. Debbie Evans says:

    I agree 100%! I love this CD. The songs are fun to sing along with in the car, and they seem like they were written just for me!

  4. Elizabeth Alli says:

    Shellee Coley is the real thing…….sensitive, funny, shy, outrageous, tender…full of life.

  5. Kelly Hall says:

    Hey! I LOVE Shellee!! Her CD is sung loudly in our car. She’s the real deal.
    Thanks ADAM!

Leave a Reply

*