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Brooke Fraser - Flags Album Review

11 Nov 2010 // A review by Dilemma

Putting on the new album Flags by Brooke Fraser surprised me. What I heard was completely unexpected, raw, country maybe even a little bit of bluegrass? Huh? Brooke Fraser? The more you delve into this her 3rd studio album, you feel a new direction that only comes from new experience. Brooke says "There are life-altering gut-wrenching experiences on Flags, and it has been a really painful time for me," hence the new sound. Different and new but still completely Brooke Fraser driven as she took on the role as producer also.  

Beginning with Something In The Water about good times, being in love ("Kiss me quick now baby, I'm still crazy over you") and drinking wine. A catch Dolly Parton-esk foot stomping thigh slapping kind of feel that you would expect from honest country music. A stunning beginning which masks a journey that is to take place over the next 10 tracks, building from joy to deep sorrow and ending in a prayer for the future.

There is Betty, the sincerity of Orphans, Kingdoms and Ice on Her Lashes which have a lyrical depth as good as folk legends Iron and Wine and Fleet Foxes. Not a bad direction to emulate.

Who are We Fooling, her duet with Aqualung, Matt Hales, could be mistaken for being quite emo but it ends up being a tender, bittersweet tale of a couple that has lost the love between them with no hope of recovery. It's technically clever and sang precisely over a delicate piano.

In between Jack Kerouac and Coachella, songs that tell more stories of journeys and the experiences life brings. Crows and Locusts, descends into the deepest level of heartache and pain.

Flags leaves us with an uncomplicated sweet ballad quoting the Gospel according to Matthew. Brooke Fraser is the quintessential female vocalist in NZ, and there really is nothing like letting her take you on a journey and to come out the other side feeling thankful that she shared it with us.

 

About Brooke Fraser

With a career commencing at the age of just 18, Brooke Fraser has clocked up a remarkable number of achievements, including over 16 Platinum Album sales discs and over 245,000 album sales in New Zealand alone and 700,000 worldwide, making her one of New Zealand’s most-loved artists of the past decade.

Her 2003 debut album What To Do With Daylight was an eight-times platinum success story in her native New Zealand that earned Brooke her first pair of New Zealand Music Tui Awards and saw her share the stage with artists like David Bowie, opening on his New Zealand tour in 2004.

The title track to her 2006 follow-up album Albertine celebrated her passion for Africa while the songs spread further across the airwaves. Radio stations in Australia and America were in the thrall of Shadowfeet. An Editors Choice at iTunes in the US helped Albertine climb as high as #5 on the charts and the album clocked up five times platinum sales in New Zealand, matching her debut effort’s gold sales in Australia. With the album title track winning New Zealand’s prestigious songwriting award, the APRA Silver Scroll and a further three Tui’s at the NZ Music Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Brooke Fraser

Releases

B Sides
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
A Sides
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Brutal Romantic
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Flags
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Albertine
Year: 2006
Type: Album
What To Do With Daylight
Year: 2003
Type: Album

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