Theresa Sokyrka Something Is Expected

[Maple Music; 2006]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: adult contemporary, radio folk
Others: Sarah Harmer, Tegan & Sara, Avril Lavigne

"I was told once that I wasn't marketable. I'm not marketable with a major label, it's true – it's because I'm not willing to show tits and ass." - Teresa Sokryka

The title of this album is true: Something Is Expected here. As the runner-up in season two of Canadian Idol, it's expected that Theresa's entire recording career would be at the whim and bankroll of a big four label executive. But no, Theresa has something that no other Idol winner has ever known, an artistic backbone. Granted, her debut was an RIAA-approved covers album, but she took all the money she earned from those jazz standard renditions and put it into her first real album. She picked Cowboy Junky Michael Timmins and the duo of John Collins and David Carswell (Tegan & Sara, The Evaporators) to produce, who in turn surrounded her with the likes of Richard Bell (Janis Joplin, The Band) and Junkies bassist Jeff Bird. She then wrote all of her own songs and paid for them to be recorded, later securing a distribution deal with notable Canadian indie launchpad Maple Music. Now I'm a guy who loves to hate everything even remotely related to any "vote for the ability to make art" reality show, but what Theresa has done to bring you this album is respectable by any standard.

That said, I think I'm about 20 years too young to get into the reserved sub-radio rock that makes up Something Is Expected. Its smooth, calm production sheen and inoffensive lyrics, albeit intelligent beyond most of her peers, both work to place this CD best at home in a 40-something's kitchen-listening-post collection. The title track embraces something a bit more baroquely moody and psychedelic, but that path is regrettably abandoned for the rest of the album. Still, something was expected and this is much better.

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