Carolyn Arends - Feel Free

Sunday 1st June 1997
Carolyn Arends - Feel Free
Carolyn Arends - Feel Free

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Reunion CD10000
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Canadian Carolyn's second album is such a quantum leap through hyperspace from 'I Can Hear You' that when I first played this I thought I had been given the wrong CD! Don't get me wrong, this is wonderful but it's also surprising. Happily, her brilliant songwriting is still tighter than a marginal constituency with its trademark internal rhyming. Musically, the album benefits from Carolyn taking her excellent live band into the studio to record this selection of songs. An arresting, energetic, aggressive sound adds a knockout punch to Arends' strong sense of melody pushing her into the same ballpark as someone like Aimee Mann. The title song has a surprising Brit pop/Kinks feel to it where the opener "Do What You Do" finds Carolyn rocking out! Outstanding songs include "New Year's Day" where the "seizing the day" theme of her debut is developed into a picture of every day offering fresh chances. "This I Know" is a straight ahead simple song about simple faith and powerfully effective. "Do We Dare" and "Last Thursday (Call Me Crazy)" are probably closer to the style of her debut with their acoustic flavours. The latter features some nice violin flourishes from the multi-instrumentalist and mad cap band member Spencer Capier. The former is a truly stunning provocation to embrace the mysteries of life that we too easily forget in the rush. Overall this is a fabulous follow up to her debut, a selection of well crafted songs which are at turns poignant, joyful and thought provoking. Still working in the "best kept secret" department over here, this album deserves to see Carolyn Arends' popularity grow in leaps and bounds.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Sample Track Listing:
1. Do What You Do [Listen]
2. New Year's Day [Listen]
3. Feel Free [Listen]
4. There You Are [Listen]
5. This I Know [Listen]
6. Big Deal [Listen]
7. Last Thursday (Call Me Crazy) [Listen]
8. Do We Dare [Listen]
9. Good Thing Going [Listen]
10. Father, Thy Will Be Done [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.