Brooke Waggoner: Fresh Pair of Eyes

If the six tracks on Fresh Pair of Eyes are any indication as to what is in the future for Brooke Waggoner, we should just reserve her life time seat at the musical table now, because she isn’t going anywhere. Sporting a mixture of piano skills that sample both Regina Spektor and Johannes Brahms, and a voice that would make both Maria Taylor and Alison Krauss proud, Waggoner has a lot of weapons in her corner. Add swirling strings and flawlessly written storytelling, and you’ve got the makings of a future legend.

This is all but too obvious in each of the songs samples on her EP. “Hush if You Must,” the albums opening track sets the tone for the album, by featuring strongly expressive and intelligent lyrics over beautiful piano and strings. Waggoner reveals both her balancing insecurities and strengths within the lyrics, “I’m not very adequate, not very merry / Oh I try… / I’m not very tempting and not very pretty / but I get by.” The heavy handed lyrics seem somehow charming within the song. They come off less like whining and more like self discovery. And anyone who can make co-dependency seem appealing and romantic through their beautiful writing, as Waggoner achieves in “Wonder-Dummied,” deserves a gold star in my book. Furthermore, within this song, her ability to combine alt-country composure with musical structuring based off samples of eastern Asian culture, is impressive on it’s own. Her classical riffs, which border on theatric at times, come and go, adding new life and fresh angles to paths that might otherwise seem previously traveled.

Shifting styles from Asia to Nashville, “So So” and “I Am Mine” visit more of Waggoner’s storytelling roots. The songs remain less busy that those that proceeded them, sticking mostly with piano and comforting strings to set the tones. Topics ranges from being homesick and songwriting with a new friend, to learning how to begin and experience relationships. Brooke’s expressive voice shifts through her stories, exuding the much needed emotions desired of the listener in order to grasp the true plot of the story. Waggoner’s shaky, almost frantic voice exposes her struggle with change flawlessly.

In “Fresh Pair of Eyes,” and “My Legionnaire,” Waggoner beautifully expresses a feeling I’m sure every one of us has desired: a longing to be noticed as an individual, and embraced for our abilities to stand alone. Over a growing collection of cello, piano, and soft hums, she refers to herself as, “a single white tree in a black woods of disguise,” in what I consider to be the line of the album. It’s honesty is absolute and converts to tape as well as any album I’ve experienced.

You can catch Brooke Waggoner expressing herself live, as she finishes up her current tour. If she seems to be missing your town, you can check out her Myspace, or website, where you can currently download “Fresh Pair of Eyes,” free of charge.

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One Response

  1. […] Waggoner has released her debut album, Heal for the Honey. The record follows on the heels of her first EP, Fresh Pair of […]

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