“Kreviazuk” may not be the easiest name to elevate to household-word status, but the Canadian singer/songwriter who stands behind it spells out her mission in no uncertain terms: “People do different things to different types of music. I hope that mine is the kind of music that you feel to.”
Chantal Kreviazuk has already pulled off the task in her native Canada, where she has scored nearly a dozen hits and two Juno Awards via her passionate, often scorching piano-driven adult pop. She is not exactly an unknown entity in the U.S., either-Kreviazuk was heard every week for three years as the singer of “In My Life,” the theme song to the popular NBC series “Providence.”
She also grazed the pop charts in 1996 with the devastatingly beautiful “Surrounded” and has knocked on fame’s door here with appearances on “Songs From Dawson’s Creek,” “Serendipity,” and “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.”
But it is with her third album for Columbia, “What If It All Means Something” (released April 22 in the U.S.), that the forces are focused to place Kreviazuk in the mind’s eye of America’s households.
“Chantal is not an artist-development story for us; she’s a proven star in Canada, and we intend to carry on her vision here in America,” Columbia Records Group executive VP of promotion Charlie Walk stresses. “She offers lyrically important songs with great, powerful choruses.”
Kreviazuk’s 11-song set showcases a woman beginning to uncover as many answers to life’s mysteries as questions, while settling into a comfortable, decisive mental space from which to share her revelations.
“You have to have confidence in your life experiences and know that everything you’re going through is stuff that everyone else is also enduring,” she says. “I go about my day-to-day life, do the things I love, that inspire me, and then when I go to the piano, it’s like squeezing a sponge. It all comes out.”
The first single, the self-penned “In This Life,” is an exalted vow to remain true in a relationship, as a symphony of keyboards, electric guitar, and lofty harmonies hammer with emotional ardor.
In fact, the album — produced by Gregg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting) — is loaded with intelligence and cunning, set to magnetic melodies. “Time,” the second single in Canada, churns amid a maelstrom of piano and strings as Kreviazuk pleads, “Time, don’t go so fast/The world’s getting clearer, so wait for me.”
The weighty title track takes on the topical idea that every action in the world affects us all in some way, while “Weight of the World” lightens the load with its loose, soaring chorus and motif of letting life run its natural course.
While Kreviazuk stateside success is a goal, Kreviazuk waves off too much discussion of business. “When you have personal success and goals that have nothing to do with public validation or financial security, you’re a far greater asset to yourself. Everybody loving you is a fleeting moment. I’m so lucky to have a phenomenal husband and partner.” He is Raine Maida, frontman for Our Lady Peace, with whom she wrote five songs on the album.
“I am fully aware that I have an audience, that there will be people listening,” she adds. “I don’t write just for me as if I’m the only person in the world. I get to touch people, and that drives me.”
Excerpted from the May 10, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com Premium Services section.
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