Paula Frazer and Tarnation – Now It’s Time (CD)

Paula Frazer has been around the music scene for a long period of time. “Now It’s Time” marks eir seventh foray into popular music, and this time spent honing eir sound really shows on each of the disc’s 11 cuts. “August’s Song” starts off the disc, and shows off Frazer’s vocal skills. This is not to say that the rest of Tarnation stands back in the rafters, but rather occupies a role that highlights each lyric, and bolsters that which needs a little assistance. “Pretend” is a track that is integral to the rest of the disc, as it follows on with many of the same overarching harmonies and styles that began the disc with “August’s Song”.

Instead of meandering around different sounds and styles for the entirety of the disc, Frazer instead aims for a promised land and strives forward. This is not to say that all of the tracks on the disc just rehash what was first done during “August’s Song”, but rather that each song here can be understood as a variation on a theme. By the time that “Bitter Rose” starts up, individuals know what to expect from Frazer. However, there is more of a variation on the general theme than was present in either of the previous tracks. During this track, Frazer takes on more than a share of Stevie Nicks in providing a much more alluring and almost siren-like sound to eir vocals. This thread continues into “Sleeping Dreams”, and Frazer by this time has subtly changed the paradigm.

It is again not as if ey is trying to go and cut the same song a number of times, but rather (like eir other occupation as a weaver might suggest) Frazer tries to link together disparate themes and styles under the awning of “Now It’s Time”. By the time that the final track, “All The Time” ends, individuals are left off at a bus stop that in no way looks like the place that they got onto the disc at. This is why Frazer succeeds with this album, and why ey has been adding new fans to eir ranks since the middle of the nineties. Folk, seventies revival music, and a little bit of indie come together on this album to provide fans with something that they will have to listen to a number of times before they can fully appreciate all that Frazer has done for them.

Top Tracks: Shadows, All The Time

Rating: 6.0/10

Paula Frazer and Tarnation – Now It’s Time / 2007 Birdman / 11 Tracks / http://www.paulafrazer.com / http://www.birdmanrecords.com / Reviewed 08 May 2007

[JMcQ]

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