Style: Soulful pop; compare to Francesca Battistelli, Adele, Natalie Grant
Top tracks: "Suitcases," "It Had to Be You," "So Good to Me"
Fervent Records paired soulful Texas newcomer Dara Maclean with uber-producer Ian Eskelin, and the result is a solid, 12-song collection of happy-feet pop. Maclean has a power set of pipes and a smooth, clean delivery that works well whether she is grooving on a soul-tinged R&B number, bouncing around the dance floor, or pulling back for an intimate acoustic ballad. She even manages to inject a healthy dose of sound theology wrapped in pop culture references in her radio single, "Suitcases," where she compares the burdens that so easily beset us with baggage we willingly carry around.1