Album Title: Shezza
Release Date:
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Shai Award winner and indie artist Shezza released her self titled album early in 2005 and four of the songs have already been played on the radio, I Will Exalt, I Will Fly, Carry Me and In You. The album was produced at the studios for Avante Records in Winnipeg and once again highlights the production skills of Jordan Jackiew.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this CD is Shezza's voice never takes a backseat to the instruments. She has a great voice that never strains nor does it ever seem ill suited for the songs she performs. If I had to pick an artist that her voice most reminds me of it would be Michelle Tumes. The difference being that several of Shezza's songs are a little more pop driven.

The lyrics on this album are masterful, never do you come away feeling that she just sat down and asked what the market wanted to hear. The lyrics show the true touch of a poet's hand and blend well with the music. Take for instance these words found in the second verse of I Will Fly;

In the setting of the sun, in the rising of the dawn
In the quiet twilight hour there rises up from me a song
Upon my life the hand of God my shackles falling to the ground
I feel your presence set me free my spirit soars

Terry Van Veen, the morning host for CHVN radio in Winnipeg says about Shezza, "Her ability to take the listener into a state of authentic worship is truly a gift from God."

There are some instrumental highlights on this album as well. Lift Me Higher features an excellent piano accompaniment and track six Captivated has some beautiful guitar work by bassist James Johnston and Brian James on guitar. In You, track number five would be a beautiful piece with or without Shezza's voice.

With the exception of Captivated Shezza wrote the music and lyrics for all the songs on the CD. Captivated was co-written with husband Paul Ansloos. Son Jeffrey also appears on this CD contributing vocals.

Although the CD is a little light with just nine tracks it must be remembered that a lot of artists will boast eleven, twelve or more tracks on a CD but only one or two are really worth listening to. On this album there were only one or two songs near the end where I found my mind wandering. I suspect it isn't a comment on the songs as much as a changeup in song selection would probably have been good at this point. For instance several times on the album there are hints that Shezza has the ability to sing with a bit of an edge such as you find with Sheryl Crow or Canada's own Daphne Bevacqua. This might have been a good time to stretch a little bit as an artist.

If you are looking for a CD with trendy hooks you probably aren't going to be happy with this CD. If you are looking for music that is beautifully composed, played and sung then Shezza's debut album is well worth the investment.

The CD is distributed by CMC and available through select bookstores. If you want to hear some audio samples first go to

Writer: Joe Montague

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