Christine Fellows – Paper Anniversary (CD)

The substantive part of “Paper Anniversary” starts with the very interesting track “Vertebrae”. The track is not interesting for how radio friendly it may be, but for Fellows’ tweaking of what time signatures that ey uses here. This tinkering turns “Vertebrae” into a track that lurches back and forth while still being a song that individuals can easily get behind.

The gradual snowballing of strings on this track further gives Fellows momentum that ey can then use for the rest of this considerably beefy in terms of tracks, the disc is still struggling to get to the thirty five minute mark CD. While “Road Trip” is an instrumental track that furthers the instrumental side of the disc without really changing the momentum that Fellows has in the full, vocal and instrumental tracks, “Migrations” continues Fellows’ trip down this very nuanced and idiosyncratic style. The tracks that are placed early on “Paper Anniversary” all have absurd lyrics, and thus fit well with the fanciful instrumental arrangements that present themselves on this disc. “During “Face Down, Feet First”, Fellows mixes together two musical styles of very different lineages. The synthesizer on the track paints a very sixties sound for Fellows, while the sequenced drum beat turns the track into something that can trace its lineage back to the halcyon days of the early nineties.

This brand of irreverent pop has some common ground with artists like Alanis Morrisette, but goes even further in creating fun, interesting, and overall impressive tracks by Fellows. The first major derivation for Fellows comes during eir “Instructions On How To Dissect A Ground Owl”, a track that incorporates a second and third voice to bring Fellows more in line with musicians like Devendra Banhart. This slight tweaking of Fellows’ style at this point during the disc keeps listeners from becoming bored with Fellows’ output. The style is not completely alien to what Fellows was doing at an earlier part of the disc, but shows that Fellows is not a one-trick pony. This shift continues with the very hyper vocal approach to the title track, a song that is given a fullness with an insistent and 19th-century bit of keyboards. Christine Fellows may be completely underneath the radar at this point, but there is little doubt that as more people learn about eir, that eir star will rise higher and higher until ey is a household name in both Canada and the United States.

Top Tracks: Face Down Feet First, Souvenirs

Rating: 7.2/10

Christine Fellows – Paper Anniversary / 2006 Factor / 14 Tracks / http://www.christinefellows.com / Reviewed 31 October 2006

[JMcQ]

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