Mia Dyson’s ‘If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back’ is a perfect slice of Australian songwriting

Acclaimed vocal powerhouse and guitar-slinger Mia Dyson has kicked another goal with her sixth studio album If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back

While taking it down just a notch from the anthemic peak of The Moment, If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back forges new territory, weaving dreamy twang with a side serve of rock. 
If you’re not already familiar with Dyson, the fact that she routinely supports the likes of Stevie Nicks and Bonnie Raitt gives an insight into the type of voice we’re talking about – it’s big and raw. That said, this album showcases a lot of songs dealing with fear and vulnerability, and Dyson’s pitched it as less of a belter. That If I Said Only So Far I Take It Back features a more delicate vocal (albeit no less punchy when it comes to hitting all of the feels), coincides with Dyson’s personal exploration of meditation, philosophy, acceptance and surrender. The rock-tinged and jubilant ‘Diamond’ is a prime example – Dyson resists the urge to kick against the pricks, only to discover that “my lifelong enemies become my messengers, teaching me how to live and love the world”.     
Recorded at Portside Sound with some of Muscle Shoals’ legends in tow – including bassist David Hood, who played on The Staples Singers’ classic ‘I’ll Take You There’ – the album embraces the adage “start as you mean to continue”, opening with the corker ‘Being Scared’. Delving into the everyday agony of being at cross-purposes, the song is also a reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to expose a soft underbelly. With an orchestral and choral swell, Dyson reminds us that “[t]here’s no end to being scared,” which is as true as much as it sucks.   
Other highlights include ‘Nothing’, which would be heartbreaking except for the fact that it’s so darn guitar-fuzzingly sexy, ‘Fool’, with its echoes of Springsteen, and ‘Bleeding Heart’, which throws back to Dyson’s most rockin’, à la  ‘When The Moment Comes’.