Friday, June 13, 2008
CD Review: Nicole Berke - Frondescence
Nicole Berke - Frondescence
2008, Nicole Berke
Nicole Berke is a breath of fresh air. Writing songs with a level of virtuosity comparable to Ben Folds, Nicole Berke exudes a warmth and vulnerability to buoy her lyric and multi-timbered voice. Frondescence is the biological term for bursting into leaf; a becoming. In the vernacular, it means blooming. Frondescence is a blooming for Nicole Berke, who comes out as an incredible talent with a bright future.
This five-track EP is dynamic trip, starting out with Come On. You'll be tapping your toes and grooving in your seat from the opening notes of this gem. Reasons sounds like it may have just rolled off Ben Folds' Reinhold Messner album. Blind Dumb & Deaf is vocally acrobatic with wonderful counter-rhythms traded back and forth between the piano and rhythm section. This is perhaps the finest track on Frondescence, but they are all so good it's hard to say.
Fire is a frenetic and urgent plea to a would-be significant other. Not to belabor the point, but this song also would sound perfectly at home with Ben Folds behind the keys. I think it's safe to say Mr. Folds is at least an influence in composition style (not a bad influence to have). Frondescence is the mellow, introspective last song (and title track). The song is eerily familiar even though I know I never heard it before. Nicole Berke has a talent in offering up songs that touch on a familiar part of your consciousness and make you feel right at home.
As debuts go, this is absolutely stellar. The only concern here is what she's going to do avoid the usual sophomore jinx.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about Nicole Berke at www.myspace.com/nicoleberke. You can purchase a copy of Frondescence at www.cdbaby.com/nicoleberke.