Album Review: Bittersweet by Brooke Pevear with Elaine Verstraete

Album Name: Bittersweet
Artist: Brooke Pevear with Elaine Verstraete
Year/Label: 2006 / Independent

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

This is what I used to think of when I heard the term folk. Female voices singing both in harmony, unison and in the round. Think “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and you’re halfway there.

Strumming guitar and not much else (though I hear a piano and bass at some points). It recalls a retreat campfire.

That said, the artists are talented. Their voices are pleasant, they sound good together and on key; which is not as common in music as you might think, or hope.

The songs are sweet (though almost too sweet and cutesy at times). Alternately, fellow folkie Christine Lavin can get away with cutesy vocals because what she’s saying is actually quite the opposite and it’s charming. But I don’t see that with this group. Where Lavin sings about wishing her boyfriend would meet a horrible fate because he stood her up, these ladies are singing about birds and leaves. It’s not that one is better than the other, but it’s just a matter of personal taste.

I poked around on their website, and they seem like interesting people. There’s even a dog photo (you know I can’t resist dogs). So ladies, if you read this please don’t be offended. You’re good. It’s just not something I personally would choose.

But if you like this type of music these ladies hit it right on. You know what? They’d be fun to see at an outdoor festival.

Posted on October 28, 2006

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. The Lazy, Hazy Dog Days of Summer
2. Goodbye Romeo
3. Enter the Earth
4. Fly Away
5. Dreamin’
6. Heron Trance
7. Love Letter
8. The Old Oak Tree
9. I’ve Walked this Road
10. Hey, You
11. Back Country Toll Booth
12. Over the Moon
13. Bittersweet

[Brooke Pevear with Elaine Verstraete Official Site]


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