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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Staci Frenes
Tracks: 10 tracks
Genre: Acoustic Rock
On every good album, there is usually at least one song that one can point to as the artist's signature tune, and on the CD Meteor Shower, Staci Frenes' song, "What I Won't Leave Without," is the one. A few months back Frenes tracked me down and sent me Meteor Shower , we unfortunately did not get a chance to review it until now, and that is both our loss and yours, because the CD is yet another testament to not only the outstanding music which Frenes creates, but to the faith which infuses her songs. Although Frenes would be the first to tell you that her music has at its core her Christian beliefs, she is never preachy, nor are her lyrics so embellished with Christian colloquialisms that the non-churched man or woman on the street is left mystified as to their meanings.
Frenes is truly one of those cross over artists whose music, should appeal to most pop music fans, because she employs infectious melodies, great grooves and on the opening tune, "Oxygen," drummer Steve Brewster is the man with the sticks serving up the delicious beats and percussion. Oh, and did we happen to mention that Frenes possesses very good vocals, which will appeal to fans of artists such as Sheryl Crow.
For Meteor Shower, Staci Frenes reunited with veteran producer Nate Sabin, whose fingerprints were on her album, Nothing Short of Amazing. Frenes and Sabin are at their best, with "101 Ways," one side of a conversation, in which the singer tells her significant other that she knows she can improve upon her end of their relationship, by trying harder, being more patient, and more supportive. This is a song which should be marketed to mainstream radio, because it has hit written all over it. The San Francisco native, and former high school teacher's vocals harmonize well with her acoustic guitar riffs, as she serves up the lyrics with unbridled passion.
Frenes, who majored in English at the University of California Berkley, confessed in an interview a few years ago, that she is inspired by authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and artists like Picasso, and the natural out flow from those sources of inspirations often result in her painting beautiful word pictures, as she did with, "Picasso Blues," from her CD Nothing Short of Amazing. On this album, Meteor Shower, Frenes once again explores the various hues of emotion, with her song, "I Suppose," a tune in which she marvels at the simplicity of children who approach life, oblivious to the more complicated issues of war and life in general, "I suppose it only goes to show / that we're maybe not suppose to know, how life unfolds / try to just be brave / and turn the page / baby everything will be okay / trust and just let go." We are serenaded, and Frenes is accompanied, by three of the best strings musicians on the music scene, as she collaborates with violinist David Angell, fellow violinist David Davidson and cellist John Catchings, who also wrote the strings arrangements. Their affect on, "I Suppose," would be understated if we were to describe it as pretty.
Frenes follows up, "I Suppose," with the edgier eighth track, "Making Room," a guitar driven tune, which has a good beat and once again boasts infectious vocals by Frenes. If you like, your music with a little more of a rock flavor, "Making Room," should more than satisfy your appetite.
A few years ago, Staci Frenes told me, "For me the writing process is so fluid. It is continually changing. It feels like my knowledge of songwriting gets less and less every year, and yet I think I am getting better at it." Meteor Shower is evidence that Staci Frenes has continued to perfect her craft and continues to excel as a singer / songwriter.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer and the publisher of Riveting Riffs,
His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague
who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights
remain the property of Joe Montague.