Just saying that Brooke Fraser’s second album Albertine is a great pop album completely generalizes just how good it is. She takes cues from some of Christian music’s finest and makes them her own.
On the opener “Shadowfeet,” Fraser sounds a lot like Amy Grant, especially at the beginning when it is just Fraser’s almost-whisper and soft, flowing piano. She gets her Superchic[k] on as “Love, Where is Your Fire” starts out almost exactly like Superchic[k]’s “Beauty From Pain.” Fraser doesn’t quite get to their level of intensity, scaling back and making something more radio-friendly.
The lead single, “Deciphering Me” is pop perfection as it builds to a powerful climax, and then Fraser takes it a step further, just for an instant, bringing an unexpected twist to an already fantastic pop song.
Albertine is named after a Rwandan orphan that Fraser befriended during a trip to Africa. The title track cryptically begins with Fraser as “I think of Angelique [Kidjo]/ Her mother’s voice over me/ And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent.” The light African acoustic beat slowly crescendos to an insistent and more optimistic promise that Fraser sings, “I will tell the world, I will tell them where I’ve been/ I will keep my word/ I will tell them, Albertine.” It is amazing.
Albertine does have some heavy Christian influences, but those influences create the passion that is encompassed in this beautiful 12-song set.
Brooke Fraser: www.brookefraser.com