218

Rachel Z: Grace

By

Sign in to view read count
Rachel Z: Grace This should have been easy to avoid. During the recording or planning sessions for Grace, Rachel Z's first vocal album, someone should have had the courage to tell her that she just doesn't sing very well. She has tried many different things over the years, to varying degrees of success, so perhaps she figured that singing would be a nice change of pace. Unfortunately her vocals are a fatal flaw from which the album cannot recover.

It is not so much that it is a bad voice, although it is certainly undistinguished and curiously weak at points—especially considering that she mentions in the liner notes that she had originally planned to be an opera singer. The fault lies more in the manner in which she employs her voice. Indeed, she attacks each vocal performance with all of the worst tics and traits of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and Joni Mitchell front and center, while also throwing in some unique nasal touches in passing. The endlessly repeated rap on "Pain is, however, probably the nadir of the album.

It is certainly ironic that the album credits her only with vocals when her piano playing with her trio of Bobbie Rae (drums and percussion) and Chris J. Luard (bass) is easily the highpoint of the album. Their performance of U2's "One is definitely a track to build on. Eschewing the anthemic reach of the original, the band offers an introverted performance with Rae's rolling, muffled drums sounding particularly evocative. Not surprisingly, this is also one of the few tracks that do not feature vocals.

Ultimately, Grace is the result of a massive miscalculation that doomed the album from the start. Rachel Z is a talented pianist who can summon moments of real interest with her band, but Grace does not show her to be an effective singer or lyricist.


Track Listing: Protect This Child; Moon In Your Hair; One; Grace; Pain; Come As You Are; This Woman's Work; Riot; Joga; Imagine.

Personnel: Rachel Z: vocals, piano; Bobbie Rae: drums, percussion; Chris J. Luard: bass.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Chesky Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "True North" CD/LP/Track Review True North
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!