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Cailyn/Dani: True Lies and Other Fairy Tales

Cailyn/Dani: True Lies and Other Fairy Tales

Melodic/Progressive Rock
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cailyn/Dani is the colloboration of two fine Wisconsin artists: guitarist Cailyn Lloyd and vocalist Dani Daly. Lloyd is a nationally recognized (Vintage Guitar Magazine) guitarist with exceptional talent and skill. Daly performs with Wisconsin rockers Oil Can Harry and was voted Wisconsin's best female vocalist. True Lies and Other Fairy Tales is Lloyd's second commercial release, and the first with Daly. This album is collection of four original and five cover songs, in the word of Lloyd 'rewritten and arranged to sound fresh, different - female' (duh!). More interesting is the choice of artists (Hendrix, ELP, Aerosmith, Traffic, Kansas) and songs: all five were originally recorded prior to 1980 which should tell you something about Cailyn's influence.

Regarding the covers, I would definitely agree that the arrangements are different, fresh I'm not sure. Lloyd's arrangements don't plow under the identity of the original songs; you will still recognise them. However, compositional twists abound. For instance, ELP's Still ... You Turn Me On gets a more electric and lively treatment thanks to Cailyn's fret work; Kansas' Portrait (He Knows) begins slower than the original, but then a trippy with prog rock fusion; and, Hendrix's Wind Cries Mary becomes milder as the music is emasculated of its original virility (maybe that's the 'female' side of the interpretation). However, what enlivens this intepretation is the un-Hendrix like playing from Ms. Lloyd which makes the song fresh.

Yet, even with these novel interpretations, some covers fall flat simply because they feel ill-suited for Daly's vocal style. On the ELP number she seems to err on the side of precision to the original sounding like an automaton. Portrait isn't much better as her vocals are uninspired and wasted. Daly does better on Dream On reliving Tyler's passion, but she doesn't have the range to bring it to the crescendo. Conversely, the Hendrix and Traffic songs fit her like a glove, and she sounds comfortable with them. Ultimately, despite these reservations, I was intrigued and entertained by all the cover songs and their unique interpretations.

It's on the original songs, penned together with Cailyn, where Daly truly shines. As True Lies and Other Fairy Tales ultimately is canvas for Lloyd's impressive guitar skills, these songs seem to favor Daly's vocal style more than the originals. Heartland blends honest smooth vocals with a bright melodic prog rock formula. Both Cailyn and Daly kick out the jams on the hard rocker Lady Kicks Ax proving that you don't need balls to kick ass. The apex of this collaboration is undoubtedly Heading West where Dani's earthy midwest vocals dovetail masterfully with Cailyn's vigorous blues work.

Doing originals and covers, Cailyn/Dani's True Lies and Other Fairy Tales is a fine work of melodic progressive rock by two extremely talented artists. The covers are given innovative interpretations which may mystify, yet ultimately entertain. But Cailyn Lloyd and Dani Daly are at their best on the originals where Dani's passionate vocals merge with Lloyd's imaginative and breatheless fret work. Highly recommended!

In Short

Doing originals and covers, Cailyn/Dani's True Lies and Other Fairy Tales is a fine work of melodic progressive rock by two extremely talented artists. Cailyn Lloyd and Dani Daly are at their best on the originals where Dani's passionate vocals merge with Lloyd's imaginative and breatheless fret work. Highly recommended!

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