Review Summary: More than a socially conscious songwriter, on "22 Cents Less" Mina Alali combines pitch perfect tonality with raw emotion and technique that one usually only hears from the major label divas.
As a woman this album really resonates with me, especially the title track. At almost every job I’ve been employed at during my working lifetime there’s been a pay gap between men and women. Can you guess which sex consistently gets paid more? Here’s a hint: it’s not women.
22 Cents Less (Kick-A-Beat Records) by Mina takes this bull by the horns and exposes the sexism that women have had to endure over the years at their workplace. We do the same jobs, we do them as well, but our weekly paychecks usually come up twenty-two cents less than the guys doing the same gig. While all human cells are born with twenty-three pairs of chromosomes it is the gender that lacks the Y chromosome that historically gets the short end of the pay scale stick. And as any gal will tell you, that really gets our goat.
Mina Alali is more than a socially conscious songwriter. This girl possesses the pipes and she’s knows how to use them. On songs like No Lovin’ Me and Inside Out, Mina combines pitch perfect tonality with raw emotion and technique that one usually only hears from the major label divas that dominate the airwaves. Whether she sings from the head or the body she’s got the goods.
A Little Bit of Me gives this young (she’s still in college) performer a real chance to showoff the lower end of her vocal register and range. It’s a sweet farewell ballad with a melancholy mandolin deep in the background. Just a gentle reminder of how sad and hard goodbyes can be.
When it comes to Count on Me, Alali puts her command of dynamics on full display. Here she caresses and punches the melody with equal dexterity. Every word in each song is delivered with a relaxed but careful enunciation that leaves no doubt what needs to be conveyed. The choice of instrumentation in these productions is well planned without feeling contrived.
Not as impressive are the inclusions of My Italian Boy and With You, Only You. While not really bad songs they come off feeling like they’re there just to fill out the album. I know every tune can’t be a blockbuster or an anthem but IMHO when compared with the other numbers that make up 22 Cents Less these two are the lightweights.
Now with that being said, Can’t Help Falling In Love saves the day for Mina (http://www.minaalali.com). It’s a cover of an old Elvis Presley hit and even though Elvis is way before my time what girl doesn’t experience the feeling of her knees turning to water when she hears The King or one of his songs? A girl’s heart wants what a girl’s heart wants – LOL!