AMANDA MACLEAN: Masterous Coloundraful
By Amanda Mills
Amanda Maclean has indeed led a colourful life, studying at circus school in Christchurch, graduating from a clown school in California, and then returning to Wellington, to study trombone and percussion at Massey's jazz school. Now turning her hand to song writing, Maclean uses all of her experiences to saturate her music, with the jazz influenced tracks having a wealth of carnival and circus sounds added to them. 'Masterous Coloundraful' is her debut album, and works best when the tracks are instrumental, as Maclean's voice is short on range and grating on the ear. Musically there is too much happening all at once, but there are a few interesting moments - the banjo on Mountain Juice is a nice touch, as is the almost tribal chanting of Mali Madi Maki, and the title track brings to mind the atmosphere of a three ring circus act. While Maclean has mostly embraced her experiences, some obviously didn't agree with her, as the lyrics for the 'biting-the-hand-that-feeds-you' Jazz School imply. 'Masterous Coloundraful' is overall an intriguing listen, but is marred by an over-indulgence in eccentricity and a lacking in vocals.