COLLEEN BROWN: Dirt
There’s much to be said for sticking with what you know and that’s the point of Dirt, the third album from this Edmonton singer/songwriter. Or Nickleback for that matter. Except that Brown puts a whole lot more effort into updating her folk-pop. It helps that she has the vocal range to stretch out into jazz and get all soulful, as the material demands.
The lady put us on notice with the well deserved re-release of Foot In Heart last year and this ‘un builds on that like Mike Holmes. There’s muscular rhythm patterns aplenty backing up a melodic assertiveness, which allows for more humour to quirk up the introspection.
Which is just about where the going gets tricky as the edgy, jazzified readings of "Happy Love Song" and "Singing in the Garden" in particular conjure echoes of boho-era Joni Mitchell. Thankfully that’s effectively balanced by Brown’s club girl tendencies like bringing horny horns to the up tempo workouts of "Good Girls” and the ultra-grabby "Fight!Fight!Fight!"
Plus she has the range and inclinations to do that type of tune justice, something that’s setting her further apart from the current crop of femme singer/songwriters.
A little more slip slidin’ in the lyric writing and Colleen Brown be coming at you even harder.