The Pros and Cons of Collaboration


Victoria singer-songwriter Carolyn Mark's third proper album sees the born performer hitting her stride in the studio. Her voice carries the weight of experience of someone three times her age as she sings contemporary classics by Jr. Gone Wild and The Movie Stars, and perfects her signature brand of ferocious, honest, resolute, and humorous lyricism. The Pros and Cons of Collaboration fleshes out such subject matter as the slight tainting of Thanksgiving by a feeble Toby Keith half-time show, a lustful dream featuring Vincent Gallo, the impossibility of love with a man who drinks white wine, and so much more, all set over collaborative performances lushly recorded by Tolan McNeil at Lucky Mouse Studios.

Really there’s no roots-country chanteuse as engaging as Mark, whose well-intentioned banter is capable of making even the sourest puss at a show crack a smile. And even if she can’t win everybody over, it sure is fun watching Mark try her darnedest to in between weaving heartfelt ballads with stream-of-consciousness folk tales that sound like they were lifted from the workbook of a seasoned comedienne. Translating that live energy onto record seemed effortless on Mark’s previous albums and a similar mission is accomplished on her sparkling new collection, Pros and Cons. - Exclaim!

Mark has proved herself to be a sharp-tongued, tough, funny songwriter, able to stand comfortably on her own wiseacre merits... From its tongue-in-cheek opening overture (which seems to spoof everything from Aaron Copland to Tommy) to the even thicker tongue-in-cheek "Outro/Credits" (complete with narration by a man who doesn't sound unlike Seinfeld's J. Peterman: "It's been said that behind every great woman you'll find six to ten men working their nuts off"), The Pros and Cons of Collaboration is simply a delight. - PopMatters

The nakedness of the songs show a softer, quieter side of Mark, but she sings through it all with the same warmth and humour that has always made her music so likeable. - ChartAttack