Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ms. Sara & The Help - Fortune Flower

Sometimes the best music you discover is not hyped by the corporate machine. Let me back up and say that MOST of the best music you discover is passed on to you from a friend. Fortune Flower by Ms. Sara & The Help was literally passed on to me over my back yard fence. It's big.

The first three numbers are powerful. There is plenty to listen to in those songs. Each band member gets their chance to shine. There's no tripping up, or propping up for that matter. The band is top-notch. Sara's vocal strength doesn't distract from the band either. It's right in the pocket. Big powerful songs are a bit easier to play, sing, etc. The test of any great vocalist is how they handle the low, light songs. Dirtybird, (cut number four) shows that Sara's got what it takes. Yes, even Dirtybird ratchets up a bit during some parts, but you won't mind that a bit.
9-5 has that radio friendly feel. That's perfectly fine, because we should be hearing it on the radio soon enough. I almost think that this could be a contemporary country number. All it needs is a touch of steel guitar, and a couple drawl hooks from Sara, and there you are. That's not a rip, I'm just hearing it like that.
Working my way down the the last four songs, I'm hearing a reggae number that lets Sara hit some sweet highs. I must admit that the song could drop right into the mix of the pop top 20, but is that a bad thing? Forgive me for saying this, but I hear Lilly Allen there.
Anabel Lee drops way down to a grey, deep, and dark world. Jimmy Dynamo is deep into the cd, and I'm happy about that. Sara's vocals are too good to be working that angle too hard. Rapid fire rock styling is something she need not waste her time on. Last To Tell Ya is a stripped down, rainy day on the bayou with a woman who's got "a straight razor in her right hand and bubble gum in the other".
I'm not a music critic, and I don't pretend to be one. But when someone gives you something sweet to listen to, you have to pass it over the fence. I will be passing this one on to my friends for sure.