On her self-titled debut for Modern Vintage Recordings, Misty Boyce displays a talent for writing catchy pop/rock tunes on which she usually plays keyboards and sings in her clear and appealing contralto voice, her lyrics full of romantic discontent. She, or the "I" who narrates each of the original songs, anyway, simultaneously longs for love and yet deliberately puts off the "you" she is usually addressing. Or, vice-versa, she asks her prospective partner to stick around, even though she doesn't expect things to work out. "I don't think love is enough to relieve a restless heart," she sings in "Let's Get Lonely," "but could you stay?" The causes for her conflicting feelings are suggested in "Be a Man," a song in which the narrator regresses to childhood, acting out in school as a reaction against her parents' divorce, which has left her living unhappily with her father and her new stepmother and stepbrother. "Too young to know the rules, … too innocent to understand," she is "Just trying to heal the scar/Down the middle of my family tree." Of course, scars don't actually heal; they're what's left after a wound heals. They may fade with time, but the other songs on Misty Boyce indicate that there's still a lot of scar tissue on the heart of the woman who is singing, and other women with similar issues may find she's singing for them, too. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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