Tasty Music from the Highly Trained
Ideas, ideas, ideas! This is the easy part. Everyone has ideas, but putting them together cohesively, tastefully—that is the real challenge. Take the same ingredients as everyone else and prepare a meal (or dessert!) that is delicious. Or if you really deliver, one they can’t help but tell their friends about.
Brooke Waggoner has made us a fine, fine supper with her third album, Originator. It might be a cliché, but this album really does have something for everyone. Okay, it doesn’t have speed metal or hip-hop, but for fans of female piano-playing singer-songwriters, Brooke has really put a lot of beautiful work into these songs. With 17 years of classical music training and a degree in music composition and orchestration, her kitchen is well-stocked so you can get your filet mignon balladry and your pop hot wings. Songs explode from arpeggio melancholia into string flourishes, then settle down to carry you deftly in what’s next on the menu. Brooke’s pop sensibilities are very strong, her “catchy” being of the “very” variety.
Lyrically she seems to glide between the personal, social commentary and vivid metaphor, yet even in her biggest moments of plain-speak, her delivery gleans every bit of meaning out of what she’s saying. She keeps things undeniably interesting. The album may get a little too quiet for too long on its second side, but pacing an album is one of the more difficult tasks known to man, as many can testify. Generally, however, track to track she shifts tempos and moods adeptly, with her sweet voice the constant. Her delivery is just magic-forest whimsical enough, but staying grounded in reality so as not to be written off. Brooke Waggoner has shown us what she’s capable of and is likely to feed a lot of hungry listeners.