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Maria McKee - La Vita Nuova

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La Vita Nuova

Maria McKee

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"Artists must grow to stay relevant" is a dictum Maria McKee has always taken to heart, never more so than in her brave, sweeping, operatic new album that chronicles her spiritual journey to "a new life." Most famous as the lead singer of the LA country rock band Lone Justice, McKee embraces her interest in the occult and comes out as "a pansexual, polyamorous, gender fluid dyke." McKee recently moved to London, reinvented her marriage to co-producer Jim Akin, hired a small orchestra and penned this ambitious, mostly successful series of classical-leaning pop arias that wrestle in grandiose lyrical style with making life-altering choices after the age of 50. The key to success here is McKee's never-stronger voice. With her heart obviously committed, this is easily some of the best singing of her entire career; the title track, first single "Effigy of Salt," and "I Never Asked" inspire tour de force vocal performances. Another highlight is the celebration of her new home, "Right Down to the Heart of London," where soaring vocals and dense lyrics that namecheck William Blake make for a folky baroque pop gem. McKee's songwriting—both the words and music—has always been a lesser known aspect of her musical gifts. She has become a master at writing what she can sing best. This also means if there's a flaw to La Vita Nuova, it's that these arrangements can sound too similar. Unchanging tempos and a paucity of percussion add to the sameness. Musical wobblings aside, McKee's faith and ardent, absolutely gorgeous singing gives wings to this devotional voyage: "And I have allowed my mind / autonomy to wanderingly stray/ Into fanaticism of a daring kind /And therefore never will I find it strange ("Page of Cups")." © Robert Baird / Qobuz

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La Vita Nuova

Maria McKee

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1
Effigy of Salt
00:04:08

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 AFAR

2
Page of Cups
00:03:40

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

3
Let Me Forget
00:04:22

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

4
I Should Have Looked Away
00:03:33

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

5
Right Down to the Heart of London
00:06:47

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

6
La Vita Nuova
00:03:45

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

7
Little Beast
00:03:03

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

8
Courage
00:07:20

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

9
Ceann Bró
00:04:38

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

10
The Last Boy
00:04:49

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

11
I Never Asked
00:05:06

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

12
Just Want to Know If You're Alright
00:03:59

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

13
Weatherspace
00:03:41

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

14
However Worn
00:05:22

Maria McKee, MainArtist - Copyright Control, MusicPublisher

2020 AFAR 2020 American Fire

Album Description

"Artists must grow to stay relevant" is a dictum Maria McKee has always taken to heart, never more so than in her brave, sweeping, operatic new album that chronicles her spiritual journey to "a new life." Most famous as the lead singer of the LA country rock band Lone Justice, McKee embraces her interest in the occult and comes out as "a pansexual, polyamorous, gender fluid dyke." McKee recently moved to London, reinvented her marriage to co-producer Jim Akin, hired a small orchestra and penned this ambitious, mostly successful series of classical-leaning pop arias that wrestle in grandiose lyrical style with making life-altering choices after the age of 50. The key to success here is McKee's never-stronger voice. With her heart obviously committed, this is easily some of the best singing of her entire career; the title track, first single "Effigy of Salt," and "I Never Asked" inspire tour de force vocal performances. Another highlight is the celebration of her new home, "Right Down to the Heart of London," where soaring vocals and dense lyrics that namecheck William Blake make for a folky baroque pop gem. McKee's songwriting—both the words and music—has always been a lesser known aspect of her musical gifts. She has become a master at writing what she can sing best. This also means if there's a flaw to La Vita Nuova, it's that these arrangements can sound too similar. Unchanging tempos and a paucity of percussion add to the sameness. Musical wobblings aside, McKee's faith and ardent, absolutely gorgeous singing gives wings to this devotional voyage: "And I have allowed my mind / autonomy to wanderingly stray/ Into fanaticism of a daring kind /And therefore never will I find it strange ("Page of Cups")." © Robert Baird / Qobuz

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By Maria McKee
Maria McKee Maria McKee
Live At The BBC Maria McKee
Page Of Cups Maria McKee
Let Me Forget Maria McKee
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