Mirah C’mon Miracle

[K; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: singer-songwriter, indie-rock
Others: Phil Elverum, Emily Kingan, Calvin Johnson

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been blessed with some pretty impressive friends during her recording career. Most notably are K Records founder Calvin Johnson and Microphones/Mount Eerie genius, Phil Elverum. With their help, Mirah brought us 2002's Advisory Committee, a beautiful and introspective collection of songs that centered around Mirah's sweet, lilting voice and her acoustic guitar, along with the occasional use of strings and percussion. Both Calvin and Phil return on Mirah's third full-length album, C'mon Miracle, to once again provide their assistance on instrumentation and production, ensuring Mirah's voice continues to get the treatment it deserves. Though C'mon Miracle doesn't have the truly standout songs that made Advisory Committee so great, it is still a consistent piece of work that delivers on quality songwriting and musicianship throughout.

While C'mon Miracle may not have a song as powerful as the Advisory Committee masterpiece "Cold Cold Water," or one as unforgettable as her inimitable break-up anthem "Recommendation," there are still some terrific songs to be found on this album. "The Light" comes closest to approximating the grandiosity of "Cold Cold Water," with its crashing drums and passionate, building vocals. The guitar line in the opening track "Nobody Has to Stay" is almost perfect, with the addition of beautiful and soothing violins providing an excellent backdrop for an intimate song about family, pain, and loss. Lyrically, C'mon Miracle continues to showcase Mirah's ability to write about timeworn topics like relationships and heartbreak without coming off as cloying or cliché, especially when delivered by a voice so full of innocence and genuineness that you can't imagine wanting to hear these stories from anyone else.

The songs of C'mon Miracle aren't a drastic change from her prior work, but Mirah continues to develop her songwriting skills and give us the lush, sympathetic vocals we've come to expect from her. Though the album drags a bit at the end, overall it's an appealing assortment of songs filled with the charm and compassion that puts Mirah a step above most other singer-songwriters in music today.

1. Nobody Has to Stay
2. Jerusalem
3. The Light
4. Don't Die in Me
5. Look Up!
6. We're Both so Sorry
7. The Dogs of B.A.
8. The Struggle
9. You've Gone Away Enough
10. Promise to Me
11. Exactly Where We're From