McKinley | Gracie and the Atom

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Gracie and the Atom

by McKinley

Alternative rock opera musical
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Get Away
3:34 album only
2. Whole World Sleeps
2:02 album only
3. Beautiful Math Waltz
2:23 album only
4. Intentions
1:12 album only
5. Forest Fire
3:28 album only
6. I\'ll Believe
3:48 album only
7. Wave to Me
1:22 album only
8. Saint Michael
3:51 album only
9. Ball and Chain
2:39 album only
10. Falling Down
2:45 album only
11. Wave to Me (Gracie)
1:21 album only
12. Beautiful Math Reprise
2:54 album only


Album Notes
Gracie and the Atom is the soundtrack to a musical play about life, death, physics, and Catholic school. Great big hooks and a choir of girls voices as back vocals make these short pop gems burst with longing and energy. You won't have to see the play to love these songs!

When Gracie loses her father, she is sent off to Catholic school. While Sister Lidwina preaches physics, Sister Francis dissects the Gospels, Archimedes slides into his tub, Jesus walks on Galilee, and Einstein searches for the theory of everything, Gracie looks to them all to answer her questions. Why is she at Our Lady of Peace High School if she's not Catholic? How can she get a message from her father? Where is the mother she never knew? Her new classmates help her with the details of purgatory, ouija boards, and super hero saints. But nothing in this new territory of protons, prayer, miracles, and mechanics can help Gracie escape gravity or prepare her for what she finds.



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love it
I've got this disc in my car right now, on nonstop repeat. Love it. I'm no math geek, but I still can't get "Beautiful Math Waltz" out of my head, nor the image of dancing electrons pulling a sleepy Gracie from her bed - think "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", with less sweets, and more molecular structures. (I know, the song says electrons, but I *think* molecules.) That's how evocative the song is. There is a sense of confusion, and ultimately hope that permeates throughout. It's the perfect soundtrack, because even though I haven't seen the play, I have an idea of what I think it could look like. I only hope I get a chance to see the real thing live (2010 @ the Artist's Repertory Theatre!) I definitely recommend this disc.


The press release doesn't reflect the music, which was a good thing to me.

Most importantly, the music is distant from a typical soundtrack to a stage production, and retains the introspective aura of McKinley's former releases "Goner" and "Others". The instrumentation is definitely more theatrical in its diversity, perhaps due to the presence of strings and woodwinds. Even then, the arrangement is subtle, personal, and intimate -- certainly not Orchestral or Broadway, and never a hint of Billboard Top 40 String Section Embellishment.

Content-wise, this is a fine concept album about childhood that never gets childish: no entanglement with adolescent angst nor a scriptwriter's nostagia for a juvenile utopia here. "Gracie And The Atom" is extremely intelligent music, full of finely crafted songs, excellent musicianship, and stunning vocal delivery throughout.