Mia Dyson - The Moment
Record Label: Black Door Records/MGM Distribution
Release Date: April 24, 2013
Australian singer-songwriter Mia Dyson is no stranger to praise. The 32-year-old received glowing marks for 2003's Cold Water and its follow-up Parking Lots won the 2005 ARIA Awards for Best Blues and Roots Album. She is also no stranger to amphitheater-size staging and to date has shared bills with the likes of Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaak, to name but a few. On The Moment, her fourth full-length and first since moving to America full-time. Whether the move has anything to do it remains to be seen, but let this be known: Dyson has written the record of her career and arguably one of 2013's best.
The Moment comes out swinging with the full-throated, big-hearted barreling rocker "When the Moment Comes" and it has a power and confidence that could transform an entire room in mere seconds. Ditto to the brawny firecracker "Pistol" and the slow-burning lead single "Tell Me." The latter is a gently rolling ballad that would do Janice Joplin proud. "Fill Yourself" draws its energy from three distinct things: Dyson's Lucinda Williams-esque growl, kinetic guitars and rollicking piano that lingers long after the song winds its way to the finish. Tender piano unravels "The Outskirts of Town," a sturdy ballad about blue-collar workers that feels like a long lost page from the Bruce Springsteen handbook.
Rather unexpectedly, the disc to a crawl on the spartan and weary "Dancing on the Edge," but halfway through the song builds and second by second it rises meteorically resulting in one of Dyson's best to date and clearly one of The Moment's breakout efforts. Like most of its predecessors "Jesse" begins rather tepidly before diving into organ-drenched utopia. "To Fight is to Lose," which appeared in a 2012 episode of TV show Bones draws on lap steel and Dyson's strong lungs to do all the heavy lifting. While it isn't nearly as vibrant as any of its predecessors there is still something rewarding about it. Dyson puts her best foot forward on "Cigarettes," an organ-laden effort that once again calls to mind Lucinda Williams. When the disc finally winds to a close with the simple "Two Roads," the urge to go back the beginning and start again is almost too hard to resist. Tremendous in every sense of the word, The Moment is another solid step forward for an artist who makes music appear as effortless as tying a pair of sneakers.