Four years after the release of her self-titled album, American indie pop/folk singer and songwriter Meiko returns with her sophomore album The Bright Side. Together with producers Styrofoam (Jimmy Eat World, The Postal Service, of Montreal) and Jimmy Messer (Kelly Clarkson, Neon Trees), Meiko builds on the amalgamation of acoustic sounds and other beats established in her first album.
The raspy voice is familiar but this time Meiko sings with a more light-hearted feel, bringing a more positive side of herself to the album. It reminds of Rachael Yamagata’s Chesapeake which was a step forward from her previous more emotional albums, and in fact Meiko does at times sound like a younger, rawer version of her more experienced compatriot.
A pleasant album, The Bright Side owes its magic to Meiko’s ‘coffee house’ vibe and sense of a good hook, for example the fine folk/electronica ‘Leave the lights on‘ which paints a gloomy night, and the anthem ‘Thinking too much‘. She also adds a slightly playful touch on the album opener ‘Stuck on you‘ where she sings about a crush, “‘Cause you’re the one that I could see myself having fun with / Not just for tonight but for the rest of my life” accompanied by cheery beats.
In a similar whimsical vein, ‘I’m not sorry‘ is pretty straightforward with the singer’s feelings while ‘When the doors close‘ is much moodier, providing a nice balance to an album of mostly dreamy songs about love and romantic crushes.
“Yeah, he was real real sweet,” Meiko sings on the ninth track of the album ‘Real real sweet‘, and it is an apt description for The Bright Side too. Filled with optimism, love as well as conflict, Meiko’s second album leaves listeners with a good set of refreshing melodies without any particular standouts. Still it is a positive indication of the singer’s talent, and hopefully her producers would be able to further develop that potential in her third album.