Fervent Recordsí soulful new artist Dara Maclean is guaranteed to turn heads with the release of her debut album, You Got My Attention. Produced by Dove Award-winner Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets), Macleanís debut combines the soul and urban pop influences that infuse her musical approach with soaring vocals in service to intelligently uplifting lyrics. A singer of incredible grace, power and control as well as a gifted songwriter, she wrote or co-wrote all 12 of the tracks on the album.
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Dara Maclean [You Got My Attention]| Posted June 25, 2011
Fervent Records’ soulful new artist Dara Maclean is guaranteed to turn heads with the release of her debut album, You Got My Attention. Produced by Dove Award-winner Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets), Maclean’s debut combines the soul and urban pop influences that infuse her musical approach with soaring vocals in service to intelligently uplifting lyrics. A singer of incredible grace, power and control as well as a gifted songwriter, she wrote or co-wrote all 12 of the tracks on the album. Opening track “Suitcases” is the debut single driven by an infectious beat and a vocal approach alternately intimate and soaring, and is an offer of true release from “your burdens, heavy like gravity.” I was immediately hooked right from the opening notes and the song uses the metaphor of carrying suitcases as a perfect depiction of the weight of sin that we don’t need to carry with us if we’ve put our faith in Jesus for our salvation. Dara gorgeously sings “You can’t run when you’re holding suitcases, It’s a new day throw away your mistakes and open up your heart, Lay down your guard, you don’t have to be afraid.” According to Dara, “I wanted to paint a picture of God’s complete restorative love and how through Christ, we have an opportunity to live free,” she says. “This song does just that.” Amen. Dara displays the strongest vocals I’ve heard in years, and her Brit-pop sounding vocals are similar to Adele and Natasha Bedingfield wrapped around Motown style soulful music as displayed on upbeat title track “You Got My Attention,” which is one of several 5 star songs on this flawless 5 star album.
“Unreachable,”“What Love Looks Like” and “Yours Forever” are all very personal songs where Dara really unveils what’s on her heart.“What Love Looks Like” has a hooky slower tempo guitar pick groove and confessional lyrics, “it takes you in, holds you close, never let’s you go, picture all the best things in life, that what Love looks like.” Vocally the songs remind me of “Clearview” by Tal & Acacia. “Yours Forever” is another standout ballad where Dara personally prays, “Thank You for finding me when You did, You changed my life, Now I believe that Love is all that I’ll ever need, I promise my heart and all that I am, I’m Yours forever my Love.” Fans of R&B style musical songs will flock to “Free” and “Nothing You Won’t Do,” surefire hit songs with great dance floor tempos like “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, both in music and message. They are great anthems about the freedom we have in Christ and that’s there’s nothing He won’t do to find us, even if we were the only one on the planet. He loves us that much.
Several of the songs include biblical lyrics, especially “The One” which has Dara declaring “You are the Way, the Truth, Jesus, You’re the only One.” “Had To Be You” is another beautiful and confessional ballad as Dara soulfully sings “I’ve been waiting all my life, just to find someone like You, Love You caught me by surprise, One look and I just knew, it had to be You, No One else can love me like You, Eternally I’m Yours, it’s true, nothing in this world can change the meaning of forever, me and You.” Closing songs “So Good To Me,” “Gratitude” and “Home” are all prayerful offerings of thanks. Dara is clearly a grateful believer who is unashamed of her salvation and many of these songs are invitations into Dara’s prayer life. If you don’t know how to word your prayers of thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you, just sing along with these incredible songs of faith.Don’t hesitate to buy this masterpiece!
Dara Maclean's debut album You Got My Attentionblew me away! This is my top album of the year for sure and Dara Maclean is the best new artist I've heard in CCM since Francesca Battistelli. Her sound is a perfect blend of Brit-pop soulful female artists Adele, Natasha Bedingfield and Duffy. I can’t get enough of this album which for me is flawless with twelve amazing songs. For sure you’ll be hearing her name and her songs. Dara is my surefire choice for best new artist, female vocalist and pop/contemporary album of the year.
#9 Album Of 2011| Posted December 26, 2011 I had the privilege to seeDara Macleanperform acoustically to a small audience as her label, Word Records, began introducing her before her summer debut. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, I'm getting a first glimpse at next year's New Artist of the Year." And 10 months later, I'm fully expecting not only a nomination, but a well deserved win for Dara. Watching Dara sing her heart out, in perfect pitch was one of those moments I'll remember for a long time. She is a true artist through and through, humble and patient in His plan, and it was apparent she loves God and gives Him all the credit for her path.
Dara has a great, unique voice that is so needed in today's polished pop landscape. I appreciate albums that sound a little different and voices that stand out from the pack and Dara's music and voice does both extremely well.
Musically, You Got My Attention fuses R&B, Pop, Soul and even elements of Jazz. Listeners will certainly appreciate the tones of Lauren Hill, Adele and even her own label mate, Francesca Battistelli.
I love listening to songs where you can actually see the artist smiling in your mind. Joy is not just lyrics on paper, it's a full emotion and not always brought through the speakers well. But Dara has joy and you hear it in the lyrics and the voice throughout songs like "You Got My Attention," "Free," "Nothin' You Won't Do" and the first single, "Suitcases."
Dara also provides some nice moments of vulnerability on songs like "Yours Forever" and "Had To Be You," which are musically stripped from production yet just as shiny as the other tracks.
As an artist that's not coming onto the scene fresh out of grade school, Dara has a great perspective on life that many new artists in our industry are only starting to discover. I believe that gives Dara an instant depth that is a joy, and instant comfort, to jump in. It's certainly one of the few debuts worthy to be placed on my Top 10 list this year.
Dara Maclean: You Got My Attention Review| Posted July 18, 2011
Newcomer to Christian radio, Dara Maclean, releases her debut project You Got My Attention July 12th to Fervent Records. Featuring the hit radio single “Suitcases,” and eleven other solid tracks, Dara’s debut project features musical diversity that makes for a completely enjoyable listen, and is a project that only gets better each time it is played.
The amazing radio single “Suitcases” starts off Dara Maclean’s You Got My Attention project with a bit of piano, before things take an upbeat turn by the chorus. Most enjoyable about this track are the innovative lyrics comparing suitcases to our burdens in life and reminding us that “you can’t run when you’re holding suitcases” – it is an encouraging track reminding us to cast our burdens on the Lord who cares for us and was personally my favorite track off this project. The title track follows nicely, immediately reminding the listener of Francesca Battistelli, particularly her “My Paper Heart” track, in this pop track with a gospel twist to it. Another amazing song, lyrically, this fun song sings about how God has captured out hearts and shown us that He is all we truly need.
“Unreachable” slows things down a bit, but sees the lyrics get even better! Starting off acoustically, “Unreachable” speaks to the heart of someone who feels lost, and reminds them that they can find grace and that they are never too far to return to God: “You’re not too far away/ you can’t fall too far to save/ sounds unbelievable/ but you’re not unreachable/ just take the hand of grace/ your sins have been replaced by something beautiful/ you’re not unreachable.” Dara’s soaring vocals were greatly highlighted by this beautiful track, especially by the gorgeous bridge. “What Love Looks Like” is the first of several sweet love songs on You Got My Attention, featuring astonishing harmonies and beautiful guitar-picking music.
The catchy pop track “Free” is highlighted by the perfect fill-ins that will leave the listener singing along, as well as the amazing harmonies that appeared in this single, and most of the other songs on this project. The encouraging lyrics about the freedom we find in Christ was enjoyable as well: “You tell me I’ve been made free/ You give me everything I need to walk in my dreams/ You whisper words that free my soul/ You’re the reason I have hope/ You’re everything I need and more/ You made me free.” “Yours Forever,” another serene love song, was a very enjoyable listen, slowing down the energetic pop, and acting as an intermission.
The full and fun “Nothin’ You Won’t Do” picks up the pace again, speaking of how amazing God is, and how “if I was the only one here on the planet, You would still send Your son/ because You couldn’t stand to see me anywhere but next to You/ There’s nothin’ You won’t do.” As can be seen, the lyrics of this track were amazing, and so was the fun pop feel it had. Equally as upbeat, “The One” follows, speaking of how Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Again an acoustic love song, “Had to Be You” speaks of how love was well worth the wait, while “So Good to Me,” more of a slower gospel track speaks of how God is so good to us, and promises to never leave or forsake us. “Gratitude” is a powerful track with strong music and pounding drums, speaking of our desire to make it known to God just how grateful we are for all He has done for us, making a perfect “part two” to “So Good to Me.” Consider these lyrics: “How can I say thank You?/ How can I adore You?/ All I have to offer is the life I lay before You/ You’re the One I live for/ so let my heart be flowed to overflow/ each day brand new with gratitude.” Finally, You Got My Attention ends with the gorgeous piano track “Home.” Accentuating Dara Maclean’s vocals nicely, “Home” is a beautiful worship song about being home where we belong: “Still the fire burns lighting up the room/ I know You’re here with me/ You wrap me in Your arms like only You can do/ I know, You’re all I need/ With You I’ll always be home.” All in all, it put a peaceful, perfect end to Dara’s debut project.
Dara Maclean’s You Got My Attention project is awesome from start to end! There is not one bad track on this debut, and each listen leaves you coming back for even more! Starting with the encouraging and upbeat “Suitcases,” straight through to the piano track “Home,” Dara’s debut is a solid project and a must-have for fans of Francesca Battistelli and the like.
Surprisingly Great!| Posted July 29, 2011
I am typically not a fan of this kind of music but Dara's voice is great! I love this music from the lyrics to the beat everything is pretty on key! I think its a good album to drive to and just feel at peace. It's got my attention... I hope it will get yours!
Dara Maclean review.| Posted July 24, 2011
New artist, Miss Dara Maclean, came out with her first album, You Got My Attention, and man, it really did get my attention! One of the best first-releases I've heard in a long time. My favorite song, is the single, "Suitcases". All the songs, including Suitcases, have great beats and rythems, but also great powerful lyrics. She reminds me alot of Francesca Battistelli. Such a fabulous artist! Can't wait to hear more from her. HIGHLY recommended album! One of the best of 2011, by far.
Great sound| Posted July 21, 2011
This CD is a lot of fun. It has great lyrics, great meanings, and has great beats. Although hyms have good meaning and lyrics, they don't have the beat and the fun.
Although we need to have respect for God as He is the Creator and our Father, He also wants us to talk to Him like He's our best friend. Even though He sees everything, He still wants to hear it from us! We should want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Fantastic New Album| Posted July 08, 2011
A fantastic debut album, You Got My Attention grabs you from track one and keeps you enjoying and singing along throughout all twelve songs. Dara Maclean's voice is distinctive and beautiful and the lovely lyrics make you think as well as sing. This is definitely one of my favorite new albums and Ms. Maclean will probably top my list of new artists as well.