Album: Siren Songs
Nomadic NOMAD15CDP released 30th July 2007
Single: Do You Realize/Paper Tigers
Nomadic NOMAD14PCD released 16th July 2007
This could fit into the current genre rather stupidly labelled New Jazz quite nicely, I expect. It does, in fact, have a slightly lounge lizardy feel about it and it does crossover into pop/rock pretty well. This still doesn’t justify that awful categorisation though!
If you like singers of the ilk of Ute Lemper or, perhaps, Nico, then I think there’s a good chance this will find approval with you.
But as a whole the album covers a much wider range of musics than any simple expedient labelling could suggest. I hear elements of Coda or Windham Hill Ambient Chill-out here, there being a pervasive quietude overriding the mood of several of the tracks. I hear influences from late sixties jazz-rock fusion – CMU is a name that springs out of the ether into my mind – beautiful, aethereal, off-beat, mysterious and haunting.
There has been an explosion of new female voices in recent years – maybe even to the extent that women are dominating the music world at the moment. Many of them appear overnight only fade into oblivion within a couple of record releases. This is often because they are basically one-trick ponies and I suppose, on analysis, we expect too much from performers in wanting them to do the business time and time again.
Gretchen is no straightforward singer-songwriter with a pretty and original voice – more an all-round musician employing high-class jazz –style arrangements and accompaniment that includes a trombone if I’m not mistaken. This is always a winner in my book!
But I have a feeling that Gretchen could have plenty up her sleeve to keep us entertained for some time to come. The quality of vocalisation, the thought provoking turn of phrase and the depth of emotion she imparts suggest we will be coming back for further doses of nectar once this liquid ambrosia has sunk in. Personally I’d like to hear her rocking it up a bit more, but I think she was right not to do so on this album. It’s very much a mood album for late-night relaxation or as background to an intimate soiree.
The tracks on the single both taken from the LP are in the general mood of the album but are strong enough to attract the attention of the wide listening public who tune into pop or jazz radio. So I hope it gets plenty of airplay and draws in a wide audience. It would certainly make daytime stations a bit more interesting to hear the odd track of Gretchen Lieberum bringing a bit of her class to the airwaves.