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Rachel Brooke

A Killer's Dream

(Mal; US: 4 Dec 2012; UK: 4 Dec 2012)

A strong mix of styles and tunes

Rachel Brooke’s country twangy voice conjures up memories of Patsy Cline on album opener “Fox in a Hen House”, and the band crashing its way through the country-blues arrangement does nothing to lessen that. Brooke isn’t content to simply mimic country standards, however, so she stretches her range to include torch songs like “Late Night Lover”—complete with muted trumpet solo and theremin noodling in the background—as well as blues like “Life Sentence Blues” and the seven-minute duet “Old Faded Memory”, featuring vocals from an uncredited male singer. All this is only in the first half of the record; the back half is nearly as varied and every bit as accomplished, with standouts being the ominous stomp of “The Black Bird” and album closer “A Killer’s Dream”, with its tasty old-time rock and roll beat. Brooke’s voice is the thread that stitches all these disparate styles together, and its sultry, knowing twang does a fine job of hooking the listener and keeping them hooked.

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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