Brooke is an international songwriter there is no doubt about it with other acts already performing her songs and the ‘Do do do do do” of her latest single is prime runner for a pick up on American or UK radio presented like another Regina Spektor… this could be seen as a problem in a tall poppy cutting society such as New Zealand although her laid back style fits nicely along our other female kiwi songwriters like Bic Runga, Anika Moa and Emma Paki in layering our summer consciousness.
‘Flags’ is a slight change in direction for Brooke… her last two albums ‘What to do with Daylight’ (her introduction to the NZ music scene) and ‘Albertine’ (Brookes introduction to the world entering Billboards Top 200 at 99) were considered ‘safe’ being well produced and clean… while Flags has more of an Indie feel, it’s fun, it’s quirky and it seems to be more like the Brooke you would have seen in concert… the album certainly has a real ‘live’ feel to it, which really works as it counter balances the urge to over produce the album.
This album shows what a big girl Brooke has become pulling out her best KT Tunsell (Something in the water) Alanis Morrisette (Betty) even getting lots of Canada references… When I heard the track Jack Kerouac I instantly thought of Paul Simons Graceland album, full of rhythm and movement (although I did think it was funny that Brooke seems to run out of words and just repeats his name over and over – this is especially funny when you see that Jack was a literary genius (albeit for his ‘beat style’ of literature.) – I just think it was a bit cheesy.
This album has more dark and lights than any of Brookes previous albums… but the comment has been made by more than one person that they thought the album was finished when it was really only a quiet moment on one of her tracks…. It is certainly more eclectic which lends to the more ‘independent’ feel of the album.
The album has been produced really well and there is a real mixed bag of good tunes… however I wonder at times if the album is trying to be too much for too many people…
Finally – my greatest bug bare… Brooke what’s with the lisp? Take out the tongue stud so that you can speak properly… it’s distracting listening to a great songwriter ruining their songs so subtly. Or should I sthay stho sthubtly