Fort Worth’s Dara Maclean introduces this contemporary pop based album with a proverbial bang. “Wanted” emphasizes Dara’s big voice with a sweet and subtle orchestration that sweeps acoustic guitar over strong timely lyrics that could just as easily be top forty as it could be worship fair. There is an artistic desperation that is infectious and daring that makes Wanted appealing as a body of work. “Set My People Free” is both anthem and rock worthy. Then “Step into the Light” takes another rhythmic twist that punctuates Paul Mabury’s drums and percussion with a nice 70’s scratch guitar and organ that is uplifting. There is a restrained soulful male background vocal that brings added energy to an already thoughtful journey and has a respectful gospel influence that at times is yearning to be expressed and released.
Wanted will appeal to a broad and youthful audience that embraces Adele as much as it honors Hillsong with the right touch of Nashville. The production throughout is tight and right on point.
More: Wanted is drenched with emotion and feeling and sheds the formulaic shell many artists seem to be under. Dara definitely has “our attention” and is more than worth a listen.
Less: Melancholic tunes like “Made” sound at times like it is reaching for too many vocal acrobatics than needed. However, the cello and piano on this tune are gripping and heart wrenching.