I’ve got to admit, first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this album was a flashback to Mom talking about my “outdoor voice” and my “indoor voice.” As a child, I never learned about a “bedroom voice,” even from Dad’s talks about birds and bees. That came later.
On a different topic altogether, what Dad did say was that sometimes to command attention, you need to speak softly.
Fawn Fritzen – Bedroom Voice
Released – March 26, 2013
This is a gentle recording, but it demands active listening. And because of that, I quickly came to appreciate the porcelain nature of Fawn Fritzen’s voice, full of subtle blues and honeyed desires. Of the title, Fawn Fritzen writes, “To me, it says quiet, sultry, and sensual. It speaks of love, perhaps of longing, perhaps loss. It speaks of emotion, deeply felt, but whispered.”
Four originals mingle well with six cover tunes here – nicely handcrafted, all of them. My favorite of the four is “I’m A Fool For You,” with hints of Crystal Gayle, especially when the stops get pulled out for the (relatively) big finish. Another favorite is the smoldering original “Under My Skin,” and its age old story of two loves and longing. The original “Life So Sweet” was an entry in CBC’s “Searchlight” competition for new Canadian talent.
A nearly gospel version of Leonard Cohen’s prayerful “If It Be Your Will” also attracts my attention, and I found myself looking forward to the gossamer version of “The Gentle Rain,” performed in both English and impeccable German when it came around in the rotation.
A word about Daniel Janke, who co-produces the album, and performs in nearly all the tracks, on piano, organ and upright bass. He manages to thread the needle – and is both noticed and admired by perfectly framing Ms. Fritzen’s flawless performance.
Ms. Fritzen hails from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory – where, in the winter, the average temperature at night is well below zero.
Except, perhaps, in the Fritzen household. Fawn is using her bedroom voice.
Highest recommenation for this outstanding debut.
Paula Cole is one of those artists whose work refuses to be classified. Is it folk? Is it jazz? Country? Doesn’t matter. It’s mostly all good. She raised $50K in a Kickstarter campaign last fall, in order to produce a new album (“Raven”) in a way that pleases only her.
And if this track is any indication, plenty of us, too. Release date is April 23.