Florence Foxwell,
Open Windows
(self-produced, 1999)

Florence Foxwell has put together an enjoyable CD in Open Windows. It is a nice selection of folk songs from a good Canadian artist.

The musicians do a good job on this CD -- the sound they create at times is full-bodied and it always flows. Foxwell (lead vocals and acoustic guitar) is joined by Becky Moonen (background vocals), Craig Young (electric guitar and dobro), Jeff Fipke (drums and percussion), Merv Fipke (drums and percussion) and Miles Jackson (piano, drums and sequencing).

The CD starts off with the broad sound of "Open Windows" and the breadth of the music adds to the feel of hope in the lyrics. "What In the World is Going On?" is a light piece that touches on what is happening but never quite strikes home. The music keeps drifting by which leaves a detached feeling to the lyrics. "Can You See Them Now?" asks similar questions but pulls you into individual stories. But then, the music is much more focused in this song.

"Baby Don't Cry" is a love song sung on the road home. The steady beat of the music helps it feel like the singer is coming home. "A Little Bit of Heaven" is a soothing song, from the heart of one who wants to give a little bit of heaven to a friend.

Then comes a song of remembrance in "Oh Eva," you can hear the love in the lyrics and the music. Listening to the song, I know Eva is someone I would have loved to know. From looking back, you switch to looking ahead with a loving lullaby ("Matthew's Lullaby").

"Just Meant to Be" is another love song. The song is good, but I find myself floating on the edges, not quite getting insde. We then step to the other side of love in "Way Down," a song of longing for a love that is no more. It is a soft, understated piece that lets the listener know where the speaker is.

"Clichˇ" is a song full of questions and while it seems to answer itself, I am not sure as to the answer. The CD ends with "Silent Winds of Change," a song that looks at two different sides of change.

Open Windows is a good, solid CD. It may not be magical, but it does not need to be. It is good and worth listening to. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]
Rambles: 4 August 2001