Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rachel Taylor Brown-Falimy

Penny Pop Records

Residing in her birth-state of Portland, Oregon (a continuous hotbed of new and exciting talent!), Rachel Taylor Brown (every bit a philosopher dressed up in a quirky persona) is not so much a singer-songwriter as she is vocalist/pianist. "Falimy", which (despite assurance otherwise) is spelled out correctly, perfectly reflecting the disharmonious nature of the family unit/relationships (the theme that runs through this album's 11 tracks), is Rachel's ninth overall album and her seventh recorded with friend Jeff Stuart Saltzman. Teamed up Jeff and a small army of guests (incl. a choir!) Rachel waists precious little time formalities and simply jumps right in to the fray never once pretending to be anyone but herself. There's no shortage of honesty here as Rachel's lyrics are direct, pointing out the logical lapses in ideology and presenting thoughtful arguments on a variety of topics pertaining to not only the family structure, but both the beauty and ugliness of this world we call home. On "We'll Have A" (the album's opener which, with an eye set on free-form imagination, helps to set the mood for this honest and thoughtful collection of care-free piano folk) Rachel finds a remedy for mankind's ever encroaching downfall by suggesting the need to start a family. Quite obviously it's more tongue-in-cheek then anything and one can see from the little sparkle in her eyes that there's undoubtedly a devilish streak to be found in Rachel and in her music. That merely plays into to the overall strength of this recording though as numbers like "Mt. Athos" (a real steamroller in which Rachel addresses the confines of the catholic church and all of the obstacles that stand in her way as she tries to get to Heaven) and the child-like "Robin" contain observant messages that cut deep into the core of this life's countless hangups. With that said, "Falimy" is not a complete masterpiece of alternative piano pop (even if the quirky "Family" is piano punk bliss!). For one thing, "Trade" doesn't exactly come off right. It felt as if it was lacking Rachel's complete focus and it drifted in places. Thankfully she gets back on track with "Little Fucker", "Me Hurting You" and (one of the better moments on "Falimy") "Litany Of The Family". These moments show off Rachel's ken ability as both a vocalist and a musician as do the likes of "(Bird)" and "Falimy's"closing number, "One Brave Soul". As a whole Rachel's latest work is bold and brave. It's honest and wide-open for all to see. And, just like Rachel herself, it has a natural beauty to it. While one might be hard-pressed to offer a definitive description of this album's intelligent and inventive music (quirky (free-form) piano folk?) that simply cannot take away from it's appeal and the desire at hand to share this one with those who see themselves as more open-minded and in desperate need of a new creative awakening! You can check out "Falimy" at the link below. To find out more about Rachel Taylor Brown be sure to visit her website here:  http://www.racheltaylorbrown.com/


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