Allette Brooks,
Swim with Me
(self-produced, 2001)

Allette Brooks is a new name to me although this is her third release. With classical voice training she has turned to folk singing. Her education in human biology has a strong influence on her writing and ecology features heavily in the tracks on this album.

"Swim With Me" is further influenced by her love of the water and swimming. It paints a vivid picture of the hidden world under the water. "Never Was" is a highly imaginative track with lyrics like "I am writing you a letter inside my head" and "It's four full months since I first and last saw your face." This track shows her writing at its best while the next track betrays her witty use of language.

"Rolling Blackout" tells us to get out there and live. As she rightly tells us, most people only interact when the power goes off and our computers, hi-fis and TVs being blank force us to "interface" with people. My favourite track must be "Fireflies." Maybe this is because such creatures are unknown to me but listening to Allette I see them and almost feel the balmy evening. "Same Room" is a track about a Dutch immigrant on her first day at school in the U.S. It is beautiful story song with terror and fun.

Allette breaks the mould with a folksy version of the song "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from the movie My Fair Lady. It is an interesting concept that works and is a very enjoyable experience.

Allette Brooks is a very talented writer and performer. Her voice is often reminiscent of '60s pop singer Melanie. The CD features a beautifully produced inlay booklet which enhances the music. Given the exposure, Allette could be big, and I look forward to hearing more.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 6 April 2002

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