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Jackie Bristow - 'Freedom' album review

09 Mar 2010 // A review by Miss_Jukebox

As the rope swing dances carelessly with the wind above the lake, Jackie Bristow whispers sweet nothings in your ears. This is freedom. Just like the aging leaves let go of the branches and fall to their freedom on the dewy grass, Jackie Bristow lets her stories descend to their resting place in the listeners mind. This is Freedom the third album by Jackie Bristow, the singer and songwriter who has making her impact internationally, but has a heart that emerged from small-town Gore.

The album opens with the title track and it is apparent from the onset that this artist has found a plateau in her song writing where she can express exactly who she is. She shimmers in this song singing about the freedom she has found within her, and therefore a freedom that she wants to share with her audience. “Holy Mess” is the story of misguided dreams that have become so dishevelled that you do not know what to believe in anymore. It is a powerful song that comes through as a gentle cry, with Bristow’s honeysuckle vocals.

“Running” embodies Bristow’s journey as an artist as this is a pure American country song at its depths, as is “Hightail It Outta Here.” “Pray For The Love” is the perfect song for anyone looking to open a new chapter in their lives and about letting go of the past. The driving backing vocals add a preaching and pious quality to this track.

The love ballad of this album is “River” that is a beautiful and intimate experience. Bristow shows us her strength as an emotive raconteur where you hang on her every word, and sweep along with her voice as she sings from note to note. Blending a contemporary vibe with the accent of an old soul “Warning Signs” demonstrates Bristow as a modern alternative country artist. “Rebel In My Soul” captures the vibe of a late 70’s country sensation that you can reminisce to.

“Broken Girl” is initiated with just Bristow and her acoustic guitar, which she plays throughout the album. From here on in, you know that this song is personal. The melodies surface from the open wounds of a heartbreak which makes this song exquisite and raw. The final treat of the album is “Aotearoa” which is Jackie Bristow’s ode to her home country. Through the quality of this album, with the numerous renowned musicians that she has worked with, you can almost forget that Jackie Bristow is a magnificent Kiwi artist. But the closing track portrays the decadence of the land of New Zealand that only someone who would call this place their home could express.

Freedom is a brilliant work of art, from a brilliant singer Jackie Bristow. However more than just a singer, Bristow is a story-teller and she has many tales to tell. This collection of songs and stories really travels to the heart of what she wants to express; the freedom and splendour of life.


About Jackie Bristow

After signing a production deal with Sydney based label Craving Records, Jackie Bristow set about to record her album Crazy Love with mixer/engineer Helik Hadar (Rufus Wainwright, Madelein Peyroux, Joni Mitchell) and producer/engineer Mark Howard (Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Sheryl Crow). With an incredible lineup of musicians including Australia's finest guitarist Mark Punch (Renee Geyer) along with international luminaries Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Larry Goldings (James Taylor), Tim Pierce (Rod Stewart, Tom Petty), Jay Bellarose (Aimee Mann), Zak Rae (Alanis Morissette) and more, the result has been a tour de force of stunning new material and a fresh new sound.

Jackie Bristow recently secured the support for legendary producer/guitarist/ composer Daniel Lanois on his recent Australian tour of April 2006. The run of shows took place in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Relocating from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia in 1995, Jackie worked tirelessly for five years, writing songs, recording demos and performing across the city, all the while developing her own voice. A break came when her demo reached Michael Gudinski Management, resulting in a publishing deal with Mushroom Music and a recording contract with Gudinskis Liberation Records.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jackie Bristow


Shot Of Gold
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Crazy Love
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Year: 2002
Type: Album

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