Tasmanian-born Audrey Auld’s career has been percolating rather well for a number of years in her home country. Audrey has received numerous industry awards and lots of critical praise. Audrey has quickly established herself as a major player in one of the most exciting return-to-the-roots country music scenes anywhere.
This recording is not our first taste of Audrey. That came a few years ago through an excellent recording titled Looking Back to See that was done as Bill and Audrey, with her label co-founder and Dead Ringer Band founder Bill Chambers. Looking Back to See was a fine record and it served as a good introduction to Audrey’s talent for wringing the best out of a song with her heartfelt vocals. However, it didn’t give us a full view of Audrey.
The Fallen shows us a broader view of Audrey’s talents. On this recording Audrey has assumed the role of producer and primary songwriter. The production is excellent, and her own songs (which she bravely lays side-by-side with a classic and one penned by one of the best songwriters working today) stand up very well. Audrey penned all but two of these twelve songs. She includes an excellent cover of Fred Eaglesmith’s “Alcohol And Pills,” and her turn on the classic country staple “Jackson” (in which she duets with Dale Watson) may very well be the best version of this song ever recorded.
Audrey’s own “I’d Leave Me Too,” in which she declares “I’ve been living with myself, even I don’t want to stay,” shakes all of the blame out of relationship problems and ought to hit home with many people. Audrey’s songs are mostly the timeless songs of the longing, love, and heartbreak that are what country music is usually all about. Her delivery is so convincing that listening to this recording all the way through would probably depress me if I was in one of the situations that she sings about. Fortunately, Audrey also includes enough fun stuff in here to keep it from pushing anybody into a dark place. Besides the high-energy “Jackson” duet, Audrey’s Western swing-flavored “Jellyroll” offers a good distraction from the pain. This is a very well crafted album that deserves a prominent and permanent place in the library of any country music fan’s library.