Silhouette is the fourth album for Canadian Catherine MacLellan. There is no doubt that she has a marvellous voice and she may also be an excellent songwriter, but the overriding feeling is that the album is over-produced (by David Baxter) and simply for the most part bland. Rather like the Silhouette of the title, there is an outline but no memorable details. One track simple blends into the next.
Of the 14 tracks on the album, 13 were written by MacLellan (one as a co-write with Baxter); the 14th track was rather pleasingly written by her late father Gene MacLellan. “Snowbird”, her father’s best-known song is performed with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. It is the first time that MacLellan has recorded a cover song and it is perhaps telling that this is the first album which does not contain a song about the death of her father.
Recorded largely at a secluded cabin in rural Prince Edward Island, MacLellan brought together a band of longtime friends and musical collaborators to craft the album. It makes you wonder whether sitting in that quiet cabin was the inspiration for what is the albums standout track, “Trickle Down Rain”, a simple, reflective love song that allows MacLellan’s voice to come to the fore.
Although the album is disappointing, there is a hint that MacLellan will develop into a very good singer/songwriter, but as this is her fourth album she needs to develop sooner rather than later.
Cathering MacLellan is touring the UK next month. For details click here.