Brandi Shearer – Pink Lady

Brandi Shearer – Pink Lady / 2006 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.brandishearer.com / http://www.amoeba.com

I spent the better part of my 18 years on Earth dogmatically honoring the industrial cacophony of bands like Wumpscut and Front Line Assembly, so it seemed a radical and incomprehensible move when I abandoned synthesizers in exchange for acoustic guitar.
I first fell in love with folk and acoustic music in Jackson Hole, Wyoming- a huge tourist town in the heart of the west. The hotel I was at hosted numerous aspiring folk musicians every night, and after listening to a few of them I became enthralled by the elegance and emotion of the genre. I began to research more of the music, discovering such talents as Damien Rice, Joni Mitchell, and most recently Brandi Shearer.
Folk is a genre with roots wrapped around Country music, so it comes as no surprise that much of Shearer’s music lends itself to steel guitars and intense emotions. Folk is a more primitive, raw version of country however, making it much more solemn and, in my opinion, enjoyable.
Shearer’s voice is captivating- textured, sultry, and just somber enough to be convincing. The constant, almost obsessive mourning typical of folk music penetrates almost all of Shearer’s songs, and yet she is able to slide past being annoying- a difficult task reminiscent of great vocalists like Fiona Apple and Tori Amos.
With songs like “Stronger than Me” and “Swampland”, the singer chooses a slightly upbeat melody to accompany her more jazzy, polished voice- a refreshing and interesting direction for the mostly mellow compilation. However, the songs “Congratulations” and “That’s How You’ll Know” are the most impressive. The rich, moody melodies balance a feel of 40’s jazz and Patsy Cline-esque Country, while still holding firm to melancholy Folk roots.
Unfortunately, Shearer’s work is not devoid of imperfection. Her music is no doubt intriguing, but in a way that follows the grid of almost every album in the genre. Likewise, she is a wonderful vocalist, but the same wonderful as Nora Jones or Regina Spektor. These critiques are menial, though, since the album is the creation of both a young, unversed artist and label. A tad more refining and discipline could easily transform Brandi Shearer from an intriguing young fledgling to a refined, distinguished artist.

Rating- 7 ½ / 10.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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