Linda Brooks – The Spaces In Between (CD)

“Stay” is an average track on “The Spaces In Between”, and it immediately treats listeners to a carefully-crafted and very emotional set of instrumental arrangements. In this track, everything has its place, and Brooks takes a slow and steady approach to the creative process. Hints of country, Broadway and classic female pop can all be heard here. “Smalltown” continues with the momentum given the disc by “Stay”, shining a spotlight on the piano and vocals. The interplay between these two elements brings each to a position that is greater than the parts taken singularly would allow.

Perhaps the best thing about “The Spaces In Between” is the fact that Brooks continues to impress in the later reaches of the disc, when so many other artists in her shoes would just coast on previous successes. Rather, listeners should make it a point to listen to late disc cuts like “Not Gunna Take It” and compare it to the ultimate track, “Last Train”. “Not Gunna Take It” is special in the fact that it allows the vocals to determine the harmonies broached during the track, a move which makes for an incredibly powerful song. The line in the sand that Brooks makes with “Not Gunna Take It” should be seen as an inspirational message for anyone that listens to the disc, while providing a perfect segue to the later reaches of the disc, including the aforementioned “Last Train”.

“Last Train” touches on contemporary female musicians like Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, and even Ani DiFranco at points. Rather than mooring herself only in the present, Brooks has elected with “The Spaces In Between” to touch upon a number of genres throughout the last few decades. While the production is perfect on “The Spaces In Between”, Brooks’ vibrancy and soul in each line sang would be enough to shine even if one heard it on a beat-up tape or a scratched record. If you like strong traditional pop-laced performers, make it a point to pick up “The Spaces In Between”.

Top Tracks: Tryin’, Not Gunna Take It

Rating: 8.3/10

Linda Brooks – The Spaces In Between / 2010 Self / 11 Tracks /

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