Who is Brooke Fraser? She’s a New Zealander who has released three albums. Flags, her latest album is the first to get a full release here. I’ve been listening to this album for about two weeks and Fraser reminds me of a couple of different artists. She’s like a Sarah McLachlan with a dash of Tara McLean and perhaps Norah Jones.
The album opens with current single, Something in the Water. It’s hardly surprising that this has been nominated for a Australian Performing Rights Association, Song of The Year award. It’s uptempo, bells and whistles, catchy and totally singalongable. The whole album is produced by Fraser also and she has done a great job. Everything sounds organic and is spaced beautifully, there’s different things happening all around the soundscape making this an aural feast.
‘Flags’ is an interesting album using stories and characters throughout. There are instantly loveable tracks on this album. ‘Jack Kerouac’ has a summery danceable feel. ‘Betty’s clever lyrics ‘you got a red birth mark in the shape of Canada’ metered with a rhythm that grabs you before the chorus.
‘Coachella’ though is probably the most important track on the album as it tells of the Californian music festival where Fraser found the music bug again. Her second album, ‘Albertine’ as released in 2006. The track is uplifting and tells of the mass of strangers together in the desert.
Fraser shows her versatility with slower tracks, ‘Orphans, Kingdom’ and ‘Ice on her lashes’, where to this listener she has a pureness in her voice similar to Tara McLean on much of her ‘Passenger’ album. There is even room for a collaboration on ‘Flags’. Aqualung join Fraser on the piano led ‘Who Are We Fooling?’. Minimal production on this track means the voices intertwine beautifully for an instant classic.
Flags is a great album, beautiful production, beautiful lyrics. A little gem.