Maria McKee confessed that she wanted to commit commercial and critical suicide with her 1996 release, "Life Is Sweet." Unfortunately, her attempted resurrection on her first release since then doesn't bring her back from the brink. The voice that powered her past efforts is conspicuous in its absence. As both a solo artist and while fronting Lone Justice, McKee displayed a knack for incorporating influences from rock, punk, country, folk, R&B and gospel to produce a distinctive sound with tons of attitude. But half of these songs sound like an attempt for McKee to make it on Broadway, a far cry from the streets of L.A. where she cut her teeth. Even the stronger numbers such as "In Your Constellation" and "Love Doesn't Love" would've been B-sides before. Although she was adept in the past at complementing her material with the likes of Van Morrison and Carole King selections, it was always her own songs that shined through. She handles all the songwriting chores here, but the bright light has been reduced to a dull glow. "High Dive" is being released on her own label and McKee is celebrating the artistic control to do what she wants; too bad she didn't choose well.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.