The album starts with possibly its best track. Seven Friends, even though it’s not officially a single has been getting pretty good airplay on the radio and when you hear the song, you can tell why. The song has strong and catchy hooks and the passion and energy, along with the relatable lyrics and Hans’ captivating vocals make for a potentially huge hit. The focus on Rose is more on the vocals and the music is more intimate and gentle. It reminds me of early Krezip, probably the most popular rock band in the Netherlands. Not only the breathy vocals remind me of Krezip singer Govaert but also the build up and the melodic rock basis of the song. And while Miss Montreal is a new act they don’t lack any of the quality. Rose is a grower and musically very strong.
Then Miss Montreal’s breakout hit, Just A Flirt is up. It’s probably been the most played song in the past half year on Dutch radio, and with its catchy and infectious nature, how could it not be? Even if you don’t like it, you still can’t get it out of your head and who can’t recognize the feelings and experiences portrayed in the song. The album then continues with the somewhat boring Every Time. Sanne Hans’ vocals aren’t coming out as strong as they do on most of the songs, though it gets slightly better as the song goes on. And musically the song’s just not strong enough to keep my interest. In The Middle is a decent song, but also doesn’t rank amongst the album’s strongest. The songwriting is better than the previous, and so is the delivery. While it starts out a bit hesitating, Miss Montreal rapidly finds back its form and makes In The Middle a very acceptable song.
Bertolf, an accomplished songwriter and guitarist, who recently debuted with his own solo debut, is starting to become a pretty big name himself. He cooperated with Miss Montreal on this track, which gives it a nice melodic touch. The underlying melody and rhythm remind me of Racoon a little, and Miss Montreal & Bertolf make this duet turn out pretty well. The voices complement each other nicely and while the song will not likely become a big hit single, it could do quite well on some more local radio stations.
Back to the uptempo rock & roll, which is what Miss Montreal definitely does best. This Is My Life is an energetic rock & roll song that is bound to become another mega hit. The chorus is pure gold and songwriting-wise it is the very best song on the album. This Is My Life has that excitement and freshness that you are looking for in new music. A little more laid-back, yet still quite uptempo, Ricardo is quite a different song. The build up is a little slow, but in the long run it’s an advantage for the song. At first I didn’t care for Ricardo too much, but the more I hear it, the better I seem to like it. It’s a grower, and while it’s not the band’s best song, it is a song that deserves praise.
This One’s For You is probably my favorite song on the album. The infectious, uptempo song with fascinating vocals has a rock edge, but essentially is just a very good powerpop song. Strong songwriting and a passionate delivery, all fit in this catch package can only mean the next radio hit for Miss Montreal. And with So This Is Home, the band has another radio hopeful on its hands. The song is a little more paced than most of the other songs, but it gives the band a chance to focus on the build up of the song and a change of pace is nice sometimes. While it might be a mid-tempo song instead of an uptempo song, it still has energy. Maybe not right at the surface, but I bet if you hear this one live, you’ll definitely feel it.
I Wanna Do Something Good is a little more edgy, alternative even, but it’s another good song with strong hooks and enigmatic vocals. It has something about it that makes you appreciate it. It rivals This Is My Life for best song on the album and shows the promise of a band who can reach great heights. The album’s emotional closer Addicted To Crying reminds me of singer Do, also hailing from the Netherlands. It has a nice ring to it, but it’s not the epic closer you might have hoped for. It’s a good song, and definitely one of the better on the album, but it doesn’t leave you with the big climax, or with a sense that it’s closing off the album.
Miss Montreal’s debut is strong, there’s no doubt about it. The energetic radio rock will be very popular and will get plenty of airplay. And also, the music lends itself perfectly for live performances, so I forsee golden times for this new Dutch talent.