Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Melinda DiMaio: Press

MELINDA DiMAIO—SEE THROUGH
(independent)

Though it’s clear it was meant to imply eclecticism, Melinda DiMaio’s self-named JaFoCo (jazz, folk, country) sound takes something of a hit on the opening number, “Leap of Faith,” which employs Caribbean flourishes. It does so quite effectively, and technically that’s a form of folk music, too. And while much of See Through really does work with the descriptive, it doesn’t give DiMaio nearly enough credit.


“Sliver of the Moon,” See Through’s second track fits snugly under the stylistic umbrella, DiMaio’s honey sweet voice and guitar duties shared with Mark Dziuba a smooth jazz and folk success. Country comes into play one song later, with the down home lyrics and fiddle-fuelled “Keep the Light On”.

Because DiMaio and her confederates have no quarrel with breaking down barriers, the album doesn’t blend styles as often as it moves from mood to mood, feeling more like a compilation or mixtape with a vocal thread keeping the whole thing together. That’s not meant as criticism, especially from someone who enjoys putting his mp3 player on random and letting the iGods figure out what comes next. DiMaio’s stubborn decision to not be pinned down, along with her fluid guitar playing and warm voice, is what sets See Through apart from the pack. —Crispin Kott
Crispin Kott - Roll (Jun 26, 2010)
In Melinda DiMaio’s “See Through,” a feisty mandolin kicks off the sunny day reggae of “Leap of Faith.” Right away, you recognize the high level the New Paltz singer-songwriter works at.

At first, you struggle to remember what classic tune this is, but in fact, you find that it was written by DiMaio herself. It’s a classic in waiting. Her voice is deep, rich and emotive, her delivery of each song is simply full of joy.

The bossa feel of “Sliver of the Moon” is romantic and lush (Mark Dziuba kills here); then she jumps genres (and states) to the Texas swing for “Keep the Light On” (Michael Snow goes to town on violin here).

An upright bass soon announces the smoky title-track “See Through,” about the simple beauty of day-to-day love (“I guess you love me/ you fill the tires on the car”), while the sultry “Cry” (with KJ Denhert on guitar) just aches.

Quasi-cabaret “Forget to Remember” is DiMaio alone, that is, until the tuba makes an appearance with help from Thomas Workman. The mandolin brings it full circle with the charming “KoolAid.”

Produced by DiMaio and Robert Bard (who also plays bass) DiMaio simply soars. What a voice, what songs, what are you waiting for?

Go out and get “See Through” now.