Sunday, November 1, 2009

Alice In Wonderland

ALICE PEACOCK – “Love Remains” CD ’09 (Private, US) – ALICE PEACOCK is originally from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Maybe it’s just me, but even if I had never heard her music before, there has gotta be a little room in my heart for somebody from a place called White Bear Lake. Secondly, ALICE has made her current home in Chicago, IL. This Windy City is the current home of some of my favourite metal bands like Bible Of The Devil & Imperial Battlesnake, so it’s safe to say she’s set up camp in a cool musical environment. Now understand. ALICE PEACOCK does not play butt-stomping underground metal But also understand that ever since I heard her previous 3 records, I’ve had a soft spot for her music. Interestingly, it’s music that’s had a chameleon-like face and yet, underneath there’s always a special heart beating that is purely ALICE. While her early efforts took on the vibe of an American folk songstress, her 3rd record, “Who Am I” let us see a lady who was taking a look within, borne on the gentle wings of a piano. Now, with “Love Remains,” Ms. PEACOCK has taken a fork in the road leading to the country-rock genre. But don’t think for a minute that what we have down here is some watered-down Shania Twain pseudo-country piffle. Right from the rock of “All About Me,” highly reminiscent of Australian Kasey Chambers, ALICE exudes a genuineness that is real & sincere. Same thing with “City Of Angels,” further on in. You get a jaunty rocker on the surface and running all through it is the determined story of a woman who, yeah, has taken some lumps but ain’t taking no crap either. In the same breath, PEACOCK can slide into a gorgeous ballad like “Lovely” and rip your heart out, not to mention take you on a flight of emotion with the soaring “Fairborn.” Through it all, her voice is clear, vibrant and displays an ease of delivery that bespeaks the best in the field, while her lyrics are real and poetic. Topping the whole thing off is the nimble instrumental work of the band, the players flashing enough chops to make things interesting but never trying to elbow ALICE out of the way. Not that I think this lady would have any of that anyhow. Strictly speaking, I think that ALICE PEACOCK has fully arrived as an artist on “Love Remains.” The only thing that really remains to be seen is how long it’ll take the world to figure that out. Lady Sings The Country

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