Wow. A diamond in the rough. Detroit's Liz Larin has the whole package. She writes great songs; has an engaging voice; apparently has a sizzling live show; and is not too bad to look at, to top things off. Wake Up Start Dreaming is just quality from beginning to end. Think of a non-boring, more rock-oriented Bonnie Raitt.
The material mostly rocks but there are moments that are country-tinged, and other odd elements poke out from time to time. The first four cuts kick off the record in a big way. "Photograph" has a solid boogie foundation that has swagger written all over it. By the time you get to the chorus, you're hooked. My favourite cut on the record is the next one, "Frequency", with Liz tossing off some short chords anchoring some choppy verses before crashing into a great chorus.
Things slow down a bit for the ballad "Alive (Conversations with an Angel)", which is excellent. "Thin Blue Line" goes back and forth on some different styles but all meeting together nicely. Liz covers "Going to California" (Led Zeppelin) here and does an excellent job. The acoustic part is nice and when the band cranks in, it's even better.
All the rest of the cuts are way above average which is a rarity nowadays. If you like Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, or the afore-mentioned Raitt, you'll love Liz Larin, as she blows them all away.