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Fiery Blue

Our Secret

(Doubloon; US: 14 Jun 2011; UK: Import)

Mixed bag, mostly good

Fiery Blue is a three-piece built around Simone Stevens’s sultry vocals, Gabe Rhodes’s multi-instrumental talents and Paul Marstellar’s songwriting. At their best, as on opener “Crystal Ball”, Stevens’s vulnerable but resolute vocals provide a counterpoint to the muscular guitars and keyboards. The country vibe is never too far away, as on “Our Secret” and the violin-inflected “Little Red Shoes”, but it’s the straight-ahead midtempo rockers—“Wheels Up”, for example—that tend to be more memorable. At her weakest, Stevens comes off as a Lucinda Williams wannabe, as on “Our Secret”, an otherwise strong song. And who the heck advised the band to cover “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, reversing genders so “him” is the rhyme for “aware” and “boy” for “world”? Bad idea, guys.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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