Tracy Bonham - Blink The Brightest | RECORD STORE DAY

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Blink The Brightest
Artist: Tracy Bonham
Format: CD


Catalog: 431065
Rel. Date: 06/21/2005
UPC: 601143106521

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This album incorporates classical influences, rock, and pop, sometimes an r&b or soul flavor. Features the single "Something Beautiful."


Most of the world remembers vocalist and classically trained violinist Tracy Bonham for "Mother Mother," the 1996 alt-radio hit that tumultuously chronicled a young woman's first call home while trying not to lose her mind or hitch up her skirt. At the time, commercial radio was interested in brainy, quirky women with catchy, snarky hooks. Programmers and fickle tastes have long since traded alt-pop for today's plain old skank-pop, where we're lucky to see women wearing clothes, much less a guitar. After stints with experimental musical theater act the Blue Man Group and folkestra the Wayfaring Strangers, two record labels, and one marriage/divorce, Bonham's phone call home won't require you to hold the receiver so far from your ear.

Blink the Brightest refines her sound, excising the screamy parts that critics confused with Alanis Morissette. Instead, Bonham splits the difference between the baroque pop of Aimee Mann and the tomboy delivery of Liz Phair, though less dour than the former and less vulgar than the latter. Common themes running through Blink the Brightest are love and loss ("All Thumbs"), rebirth ("Something Beautiful"), independence ("I Was Born Without You"), and even a nod back to the girl of "Mother Mother" ("Dumbo Sun"). Bonham, who co-produces as well as playing guitar, piano, and violin, works from a variety of palettes: the ornate carnival of "Dumbo Sun," the confessional folk of "Did I Sleep Through It All," and the piano balladry of "Whether You Fall." Much like the White Stripes' recent go-round, this is the transitional, experimental album that may divide existing fans, but might also generate ones. Still, next time around, it might be fun to see Tracy rock out again.