Thursday, 2 December 2010

There's a flag flying high.

I can remember the first time I heard a Brooke Fraser song. It was Shadowfeet, from the album Albertine and I heard it on a commercial radio station while touring the South Island of New Zealand.

Unbeknownst to us, a friend had bought us the album as a gift for our arrival in the country - we went to visit them a couple of weeks later.

In my view, Albertine is a great album with some stunning moments that still speak into a deep place in my spirit.

Fast forward four years (!) and there's a new album from Ms Fraser. I'd been following the development of the album on twitter & Facebook and was keen to hear the final product, but avoided the sneak peeks on line. I like to hear the whole piece in context, rather than just bits...

I was completely blown away.

The quality of songwriting is staggeringly high. The performances captured on the recordings are true to the material, being beautifully arranged and produced, with such sensitivity that I was breathless - in fact I was in tears at some points.

It's not rushed or forced. It reminds me of the production of Matt Redman's album Intimacy - not for style, but for the amazing artistry of songwriter and producer in total flow together.

What I love most is the subject matter. It's not easy or simple, black and white love songs or faith songs. These are songs about the completixties, the grey areas, the things that make us ask questions of what we believe.

I can't say how much this album means to me as it's only been in my ears for relatively few days, but it has made a mark on my heart, there's no doubt about that.

It is going to be one I will return to again and again and again and again.... drawing me to a deeper place and exposing the fragility of emotion that we can all bury behind layers of coping, calling it maturity.

If you need something to do in the midst of snow and uncertainty: give these songs a real listen.

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