Album Review: Bonne Finken – Fairytales/Loveaffairs
Bonne Finken has a rock sound that immediately puts me in the mind of Lilith Fair artists like Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and Fiona Apple. Her raucous guitars and gritty lyrics are sure to find fans among a rougher breed of female-fronted rock music. Fairytales/Loveaffairs runs the gamut of several different styles, all falling soundly within the attitude-laden rock music heard at the Lilith Fair.
“Fall” highlights Finken’s aggressive vocals. The guitars are rowdy and full of distortion. At times the noise level on the electric guitars punctuates a powerful sound. The following “Absence of Fear” follows a similar instrumentation, adding some electronic elements. (Think – wubba wubba) Finken’s at times “yelling” vocal style is sure to make fans of Beverly McClellan from The Voice.
“Step Back Baby” keeps a 21st century pop sound. The guitars take it to a rocking level and the vocals are full of frustration and anger again. “Don’t walk away hey hey hey…” It seems to be a pump up song, telling the story of a relationship that was a bad situation. The single word smash title “I’mnotwaiting” starts with a much more melancholic style, but also unfolds Finken’s aggressive vocal signature. The lyrics highlight an impatience and willingness to move on from a bad situation.
“Isaiah” is the class of the album. It’s a track that features the piano prominently. Finken’s vocals still have an opportunity to soar, but with a unique quality. The electronically-based resonance adds a different dimension to the album’s overall feeling. “Gone” featuring Jerry Lorenson also veers a bit from the aggressive rock sound of early tracks on the album. Instead, it features an upbeat percussion part highlighted with a piano/synth line. Lorenson’s Adam Levine-esque vocals work nicely to drive home the conflict in the track. It’d be great to hear more of Lorenson on the album.
“Magic” sounds like it could be a club anthem. The beat is electro and driving. It feeds a track that would fit nicely in a late night club in a place like New York or LA. “Hang On” has a lead vocal that is spoken more than sung. It’s poetic in its structure. The minor key turns in the melody of the song are the best writing on the album. There’s a spirit captured in this – maybe it’s desperation – that makes it really “pop” with energy.
“My Heart” utilizes the piano again. It’s a nice, engaging track, that uses ambient vocals to create a special aesthetic. The line “I’m meant to rule the world” provides a philosophical basis for the song reflected in other parts of the album. “Boyfriend” is one of the more melodic songs on the album. There’s song interesting writing on it, especially given the quality piano lines. It certainly has a sense of being “epic” to it. The last track “The Underground Kind” finishes the album where it started. There’s big drums and electronic sounds. Finken’s vocals are full of a sense of urgency. The lyrical ethic seems to be rooted in a relationship of some kind. It reminds me of a mashup of a club anthem and an emotionally-driven singer songwriter confessional ballad. It’s certainly unique.
This is not the type of album typically covered here at EarToTheGround, but fans of this style of powerful rock music will find other albums to enjoy on our site in the indie rock and rock categories as well. This is the kind of music that shows an aggressive expression of emotion. We all need some of that every once in a while.
*This review is part of a partnership with Tinderbox Music. If interested in developing a similar partnership with EarToTheGroundMusic, please email us to discuss details.