Striking about this disc is the great recording that marks this, a live show. Everything that surrounds Brindell sounds studio, with the only minor weakness comes with some of the ancillary instruments, which do sound somewhat live. What is interesting about this disc is the fact that Brindell’s own brand of vocals mesh in only the most tangential ways with the instrumentation on the disc. Take a listen to “4AM Blues”, which has Brindell in typical semi-sultry mode, but beyond the Spartan backdrop that the track has virtuosic Santana-esque guitar lines and Pastorius-level bass (Aaron Bellamy) lines in completely odd contexts. “Teleported” has Brindell take the mantle of divas like Nelly Furtado and Mariah Carey will the same style of dense and nuanced style of bass line present in “4AM Blues”. The lighter track taken by the high hat heavy drums (Mauricio Zottarelli) on the track seems to be a more fitting sound for Brindell. “Sweet Candelelight” seems to be a perfect mix of those elements that were so askew during the previous tracks. Brindell’s intensity during the track meshes well with those same elements that sounded so damn weird before.
“Overcome” is a track that cannot be overcome, as the sultry, pseudo-blues singing of Brindell does not create any cause for celebration: the vocal style is flat and the track’s length (over six minutes) really make for a killer combination so early in the disc. If listeners can get over the large hump that Brindell has put in their path, Even if Brindell begins the follow-up track “Pillow” in much the way that the previous one ended, the insistence of differing time signatures and bass lines laid down by the band push Brindell’s vocals into a hurry-up offense. The disc is hit or miss, but which concerts are’nt.
“Purple Lullaby” is the track that will catapult Brindell to the next level; with a pop sensibility that will draw in listeners, the solid instrumentation that is a hallmark of Brindell’s work will ensure that true music aficionados will be able to enjoy the music on that level. Some comments, though – the average track on “Live at the Paradise Lounge” clocks in at over five minutes, and many of the tracks would benefit from a tightening-up. Brindell has evolved much since eir 2003 release “Piece of Mind”, but there are some issues that need to be resolved before eir can take a place in the sun.
Top Tracks: Purple Lullaby, Pillow
Sarah Brindell – Live At The Paradise Lounge / 2005 Dragon Lady Music / 11 Tracks / http://www.sarahbrindell.com / http://www.dragonladymusic.com / Reviewed 30 April 2005