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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review: Wensday - Torch Rock

Wensday - Torch Rock
2008, Desert Dreams Records

Wensday was quietly pursuing her music as a jazz vocalist in her native Providence, Rhode Island. Along with being the director of a children’s theater, Wensday found time and energy to front several projects in a short period of time. After her discovery by none other than Alice Cooper, Alice embarked on a whirlwind of musical self-discovery. Working with the likes of Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, KISS, Air Supply, Aerosmith); Fred Mandel (Elton John, Queen, Cooper); Nils Lofgren (Springsteen) and Bobby Flores, Wensday was able to craft an album that runs the gamut from jazz to rock with all stops in between. Torch Rock defies classification while welcoming praise.

Wensday runs the stylistic gamut on Torch Rock, with elements of Country, Jazz, Blues and Rock N Roll mashed up into a silky mix that perfectly complements her sultry, soulful voice. Torch Rock opens with Arizona Man, an utterly forthright and brazen letdown with country trappings and gorgeous, classic-rock style harmonies. After You follows up as a gorgeous piano-based ballad. Wensday's voice is charmed and full of delicious color in this regretful goodbye song. The Rise And Fall Of Love lifts from the ashes like a 1980's arena rock ballad, full of guitar and synth. The almost classical form of song construction here is intriguing, and Wensday absolutely soars on the chorus.

Heartbreak is a soulful torch song that will stick in your head for days afterward. Only Women Bleed is a classic country take on the Alice Cooper classic. This may be song with the greatest commercial potential on Torch Rock; a highly licensable tune that should be destined for placement in at least one chick-flick. Decorations leans a little bit into classic R&B styles and is perhaps the best pure pop song on Torch Rock. What sounds like a series of double entendres turns out to be a song about tattoos. The song is very well written and is bound to grab your attention.

Be sure to give a listen or six to Seventh Level, a gorgeously orchestrated opening turns into a classic soul rocker that draws lines of comparison between Love and Hell. Seventh Level is highly theatric and could easily be a key song in a musical. It's an amazing composition and by far the best overall performance on Torch Rock. Other highlights include Bulldog Blues, Predatory Gentlemen, My Fantasy Life and Pirate Love.

Wensday is unique. She has the charm of a country girl, the craven sensuality of a torch singer, and the theatric nature of a thespian. Add all of this to great material and an amazing voice and you have the complete package that is Wensday. Torch Rock may suffer a bit on the commercial side as it really does run all over the musical map, and some music consumers just don't have the musical vision to encompass it all. But from a music perspective it's absolutely sublime. Wensday comes out of left field with an instant classic.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Wensday at You can purchase a copy of Torch Rock at

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