Ashley MacIsaac Pride

True to his hellraiser status, MacIsaac confounds expectations by dropping his trademark fiddle and replacing them with some rock riffs and angst-ridden diary musings about love, music and, well, love. Yes, apparently MacIsaac is just plain frustrated about love, and, interestingly, with songs like "Man Like You,” "Bitch” and "I Want to Kill You,” you actually don’t need to listen to the lyrics to figure that out. In fact, the lyrics should be dropped out of this review altogether, as most plum the depths of aggravated teenage ranting, with the requisite political song, "Revolution,” being particularly forced. MacIsaac, being a somewhat classical musician, finds his best voice through the melodies found here. Opener "Bitch” is, on the whole, one catchy tune, which could put MacIsaac back into the mainstream, while "Nights Wasted Away” takes an acoustic route and its country-rock feel makes for the one of the most truly emotional songs here. The music here, though not quite groundbreaking, makes for very easy listening as MacIsaac’s ear for melody always seem to ring true. While Pride may be cringingly earnest and somewhat MOR, those with a love for the East’s wild child and his knowing love of melody may be pleasantly surprised. (Linus)