â€œStayâ€ is an average track on â€œThe Spaces In Betweenâ€, 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. â€œSmalltownâ€ continues with the momentum given the disc by â€œStayâ€, 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 â€œThe Spaces In Betweenâ€ 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 â€œNot Gunna Take Itâ€ and compare it to the ultimate track, â€œLast Trainâ€. â€œNot Gunna Take Itâ€ 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 â€œNot Gunna Take Itâ€ 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 â€œLast Trainâ€.
â€œLast Trainâ€ 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 â€œThe Spaces In Betweenâ€ to touch upon a number of genres throughout the last few decades. While the production is perfect on â€œThe Spaces In Betweenâ€, Brooksâ€™ 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 â€œThe Spaces In Betweenâ€.
Top Tracks: Tryinâ€™, Not Gunna Take It
Linda Brooks â€“ The Spaces In Between / 2010 Self / 11 Tracks /