If you're a fan of MMO'H and always wanted her to make a follow-up to Miss America, then this album is for you, with some reservations. This soundtrack album was recorded on the cheap; the liner notes tell of Mary Margaret and friends (many of the same players from Miss America, including guitarist Rusty McCarthy) jamming free-form while the movie was projected on the wall. I wish I could have been there to see it!
There are a few songs here that are as good as anything that appeared on Miss America, especially Was You, Have You Gone (terrific, near-operatic wailing from Mary here), and the heartbreaking I Don't Care. Most other songs have the experimental feel of free-form jazz sessions, all of which are interesting and some are quite funny: in Scary Latin Love Song, MM "scats" lustily with a phony Spanish accent over a flamenco beat; on Chez Le Nez Suite she does more scatting but with a faux French accent; Never Came Back Again starts out as a bluesy romp, then MM dives mid-way through into vocal expressions that sound like she's imitating Elvis imitating Bjork (that's the best way I can describe it, anyway). The gorgeous Rain is all wordless vocalizations, and is one of the prettiest songs I've heard from her.
A few caveats for those who are thinking of buying this CD. If you are expecting a fully-formed "singles" type collection, you might be let down a little bit. The production quality is low, though the players obviously made the most of what they had to work with. Also, this CD is hard to find - the prices here on amazon are a bit high, but good luck finding it in a used record shop.
But anyone who loves Mary Margaret will definitely want this - just hearing her expressive, beautiful voice on some brand-new songs is a real delight. I just wonder if these sessions inspired her enough to want to make another studio album, the real follow-up to Miss America that I'm still waiting for ...