Colleen Power,
Lucky You Are
(self-produced, 2004)

Colleen Power is a popular folk guitarist, songwriter and singer from Newfoundland. Her writing and singing encompass both English and French traditions of her home province, giving an international sound to this CD. Continuing along that thought, she's got a cute reggae tune with Caribbean flavour about not-so-cute liars on "Chickadee."

Colleen has taken note that the pen is sharper than the sword and has learned to wield it well. She cuts sharply and deeply, fearlessly thrusting and thrusting again, making no retreat and giving no quarter with her lyrics.

The CD could easily be taken for one themed on bitterness at first glance, but because of the fine music and humourous repartee within many of the songs, it's a feisty form of keeping fit that flouts conventional words and ideas to expose the inner core of a woman's thoughts, bringing us instead to themes of love and life, with gritty revelations and self-assurances.

True to her name, Colleen is a powerhouse, turning out hard-hitting songs giving a voice to women's pain after contact with the rough imperfections of the other sex. The good thing is that each song sounds like it's directed towards a specific male and not the gender as a whole. Surely only one male in the world would ever wear a t-shirt that says "zero to horny in six beers" -- as the lyrics in "T-shirt Song" reveal.

"Mommy's Boy" could become an anthem and actually might hit home like the flat-side of a rapier on the side of the head, if applied to you. Ron Hynes, Newfoundland's most respected songwriter, sings along on this one and Colleen credits him with being a constant in her musical life.

The theme continues with "Liarcheeterloser" and "Dick-All," which the crowd she's singing to seem to appreciate. She's got a great head for guitar sounds and there is an army of fantastic musicians helping out. Geoff Panting, Larry Foley, Dogmeat BarBQ and Don Ellis to name a few. I found a couple of tracks a little rougher than the rest but hey, sometimes a girl's gotta say what a girl's gotta say.

"Taken Away by Fairies" is a good Celtic hair-raising story sung in Colleen's sweet, unassuming voice, while "Bottomless Pit" has a grunge/alternative noise; though it wasn't one of my favorites, the lyrics follow the theme of the rest of the album.

I didn't understand the three French tracks, "Cauchemar," "Le Fantume, Denis" and "Notre Prochaine Recontre," but they were great musically. Loosely translated , they're "Nightmare, Denis," "The Ghost" and "Our Next Meeting." "Happy Girlfriend" and "Car" are catchy tunes. I would have liked to see all of the lyrics written up in the liner notes.

Lucky You Are is a unique example of one woman's drive for expression and she does it very well, but setting each song in a separate frame of music so it's difficult to describe her music in one style. Modern folk might be close.

"Dick-All" and "Bottomless Pit" are rough diamonds in the jewel case, but the 13 other tracks are enough to give this album a good recommendation. It's very likely going to be the first of many, but this one gives the sense of a colourful phoenix beginning to rise from the ashes. Get to know this Colleen Power before the next one emerges with a brand new example of her musical perceptions.

- Rambles
written by Virginia MacIsaac
published 9 October 2004

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