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Tracy Bonham

Down Here

(US: 18 Apr 2000)

The first thing I thought when I heard that Mitch Froom produced (Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, David Hidalgo) this, was: “Great. This record is going to sound awesome.” It sounds Huge. You can see that Island is going for the home run here, and they just may have it. This will sell as almost every song is radio-ready guitar-driven rock with the curveball that Ms. Bonham is a classically trained violinist. That type of instrumentation is captured well by Froom, who understands the power of good microphones, tubes and real performances.


Like her previous gold record with two Grammy nominations, this one will be as heralded. “Behind Every Good Woman (Lies a Trail of Men)” showcases Ms. Bonham’s strong voice with huge production. The third track is also a multilayered guitar song (how many tracks of guitar is that?—at least 8) which I can hear on the radio. Fourth song, same thing. The rest of the album is the same. Strong, well produced radio songs with Bonham in strong voice.


My personal favorite is the sparser “Second Wind,” a song showcasing her lovely voice with acoustic guitar accompaniment.


If you are fans of any of the current crop of female rock artists like Sheryl Crow or Alanis Morrissette, you will like this a lot. If you want to hear a recording that shakes your house or your car, this is it. I could live with this earning a Grammy.


If Island puts enough promotion in this recording, it will be a huge success for this artist, and that would be a great thing for her. With success comes some degree of independence for both the artist and the label. In Ms. Bonham’s and Island’s instance, I sincerely hope that it occurs so that she can make a more stripped down recording with more songs like “Second Wind” if she or Island so desires. I’d like to hear more of just her with Froom again at the helm with just a guitar and a string quartet. In any event, this is a strong release overall, one you can expect to hear on the airwaves soon.

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