Sound — 9
Lo-fi rock with shimmers of folk-pop and acoustic-blues shadings is a vivid depiction of Miwa Gemini's second full-length album This Is How I Found You on Addictive Records. It's the follow up to her 2005 self-released album Forgetful Ocean and Other Strange Stories. The songs on This Is How I Found You display Miwa's vocal prowess which demonstrates a seductive vixen on the opening track Picnic, moving into a feisty, no-nonsense Dolly Parton-designed cowgirl on Traveling Man, and then a maidenly nightingale on the minstrel Something Ordinary. In addition to singing lead vocals, Miwa plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and piano accompanied by long time friend Brian Lackey on drums. Recorded by another long time friend Andy Baker, This Is How I Found You draws out emotions in the listener from feeling sad about a lost love to feeling euphoric about a present love. Her mellow acoustic rock tracks like Forever for Never and Room of You which opens with a sprig of fizzling mandolin chords, puts the listener at ease. Darker haunting tones are projected through Crazy over You, but the album adjusts itself to the light with the acoustic folk blues tints of the wispy Angel's Prayer showcasing wonderful vocal extensions by Miwa that seem superhuman. The final number Paperwhites is a gentle lullaby that wraps the album up like a soft kiss goodnight seeing you off into the night.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are personable, sometimes being introspective like Pieces and sometimes influenced by folklore and fictional tales like Traveling Man. The track Something Ordinary is a dreamy folk-pop tune wafting with optimism in the air, I'm not talking about Romeo and Juliet/ Romance that grand will be tiring, I bet/ But I haven't given up entirely just yet/ Hope grows in me since we've met/ You're the one with the eyes I was drawn to/ And that feeling carried through in everything I do/ I made you laugh and you made me laugh too/ And I wished that we were alone just me and you/ I hope this is something ordinary. It could be a scene from the movie Blast From The Past, describing the budding romance between Eve Rustikoff played by Alicia Silverstone and Adam Webber played by Brendan Fraser.
Overall Impression — 9
Miwa's latest release is loaded with enjoyment factors which make it as smooth as Enya and as emotive as Sarah Blasko. The first three tracks: Picnic, Traveling Man and Something Ordinary lay down the ground work for the proceeding songs which branch out from these three tracks. Miwa's songs are charming minstrels that connect with people's emotions quickly, somewhat like the bluesy addictive sway of Chris Isaak's melodies. I enjoyed her previous record Forgetful Ocean and Other Strange Stories and This Is How I Found You is equally enjoyable.