Brenda Weiler End The Rain

It might be easy to discount this sparse effort as being darkly introspective, which it is — uncomfortably so for some. Others might prefer to marvel at its raw intimacy: a girl, a guitar and little else but a soul laid bare and, at the same time, a highly private vocal delivery that seems almost sexual. Her words roll off moistened lips like a kiss meant only for you. In proper context, however, Weiler is going through entirely different emotions. In real life she has lost her sister to suicide and End The Rain (her sixth release) serves as therapy. For all her natural grief through the process of 11 songs, End The Rain is something more. As much self-discovery as a chronicle of loss, her patented folk pop carries through on the strength of her clear, practically angelic voice. It is sugar without being too sweet and death’s darkness can barely penetrate the light she emits. There are truly sombre moments here but her pain is more release than state of agony. Her loss is wrapped in tenderness rather than locked in torment. "Out of Control” is clearly the disc’s high point despite its admonition of guilt. The sign of a good songwriter, these tracks aren’t locked into any thematic rut forced on her through emotional turmoil. Instead, she rises above it and End The Rain’s dark clouds give way to clear skies and the promise of the return of the sun. (Speaker Phone)