Colleen Brown Dirt

Colleen Brown Dirt
Edmonton, AB-based songstress Brown gained a deserved national profile last year with the re-release of her second album, Foot In Heart. Look for that momentum to continue with this strong new record. If you just read her lyric sheet before hearing her, you'd likely place Brown in the rather crowded category of introspective female singer-songwriters. Her work transcends that niche, courtesy of her bright, powerful voice, one that has a widescreen pop feel, and instrumentation that's often heavy on the horns. There are a couple of musical personalities on display. Tunes like "Happy Love Song" and "Singing in the Garden" definitely bring '70s-era Joni Mitchell to mind, while a vocally and lyrically more assertive persona is shown on "Fight!Fight!Fight!" and "Good Girls." The rather raucous, horn-fuelled former cut is catchy as hell (it has already won a New Music West Songwriting Award), although the chant of the title verges on stridency, while "Good Girls" is similarly brassy and bold, with a distinct disco vibe. Strong closing track "This Love is Growing" was co-written with Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan). It'd be nice to hear Brown attempt a full album of upbeat, R&B-inflected pop songs, but there's plenty to enjoy while frolicking in this Dirt. (Independent)