Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough, and Sue Passmore are three monumentally talented women who have all had moderately successful solo careers. In 2008 they banded together to form the Good Lovelies, and the result is this über-concentrated record of superb songwriting, brilliant production, and cheeky vocals reminiscent of the doo-wop rhythm-and-blues girl groups of the early ‘50s, mixed with a little Tin Pan Alley for good measure. What is even more impressive (if you’ve heard each lady’s solo efforts) is that they have each managed to tweak their individual songwriting styles to suit the charm and luminescence of the Good Lovelies. The album is not a mixtape of three separate and distinct artists, but the product of three women, all great friends, and all with a common and singular focus. Each song plays off the last in a beautifully structured amalgam. Definite highlights are “Laundry (I’m Happy)”, “Cheek to Cheek”, and my personal favorite, “Down Down Down”, with its delicate questioning of faith and the resulting life of religious servitude. On the latter, Brooks sings: “My prayers said with a blank stare / left with holy water and hot air / We won’t go down, down, down into the cold hard ground / We’ll be set upon the wind never to be found”. The lyric is brilliantly written and absolutely moving. And this is not just a one-off fluke. The entire album is littered with brilliant quips, modest self-reflections, and engaging love songs that never get too sappy. The group won a Juno (a Canadian Grammy) for this record, and it was well deserved. Kudos, ladies!
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// Notes from the Road
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