Talented singer-songwriter turns a varied and compelling set of songs
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.