Vicki Fraser Dynamite Opening

It might seem overly confident to name your debut record Dynamite Opening, but singer/songwriter Vicki Fraser’s title track is about burying nuclear waste in the Canadian Shield, and besides, the album has some pretty dynamite moments on it. The opening track “Forgiveness” is definitely one of them, a beautiful balance of disparate elements that hang together with the ease of perfect pop. For the rest of the album Fraser enlists the help of many of the usual suspects in Guelph, ON’s tight-knit folk scene, including ex-Bird Sister Tanis Slimmon, with whom Fraser plays in Crows Feet. There are several moments here that recall Joni Mitchell, not just vocally, but in the exploration of different styles and sounds, pop and folk mixed in with soul and Celtic, and like Mitchell, not all of it works. Dynamite Opening is quite a pretty start, though. (Drog)