Blues Underground Network
Norine Braun "No. 8"
Most artists are quite content to pick one particular genre and play their music within that realm throughout their career, but Norine Braun is not like most artists, as her newest release, "No. 8", clearly and uniquely shows.
Norine Braun is not, and has never been content, to be boxed in by the conventional musical wisdom that it is best to stick with one thing and do it well. Norine long ago started thinking out of that box and in doing so has attracted a huge following of her music, not only locally from her home base of Vancouver, but worldwide. Her voice is magical, her guitar playing mystical, and her music is beautiful. Her influences, "which according to Progressiveworld.net, are all over the musical map, stretching...her vocals into pop, rock, hip-hop, jazz, spoken-word, blues...you name it, she's got it covered”. "Citing derivative influences that include Sade, Bjork, Tracy Chapman, kd lang, Patti Smith and Norah Jones, Braun’s musical bedrock is steeped in soul, with jazz, ambient pop and rock & roll laid overtop in a sound that Indie-Music.com has observed, has great depth, versatility, and provides a fresh alternative to pretty much anything you could get your hands on in the mainstream progressive rock world.”
"No. 8" consists of 10 Tracks, of which Norine Braun is credited, solely, for the words and music on 9 of them. The remaining Track, she is credited along with Alice Fraser, for the music and takes sole credit for the lyrics. "No. 8" once again shows off Norine's proficiency as a musician and songwriter.
"No. 8", finds Norine on Vocals, Acoustic/Electric Guitar, and is accompanied by an amazing group of artists, which included, Adam Popowitz (Bass, Lead, Mandolin), Elliot Polsky (Drums/Percussion), Andrew "Huggybear" Huggard (Harmonica), Mary Ancheta (Keyboard).
If you have never heard any of Norine Braun's music before, "No. 8" will certainly captivate you and more than likely send you in search of her previous releases. For those of you whom are familiar with her music, you will no doubt once again be amazed with this excellent new musical offering, which has a little something for everyone, and a lot for all. Blues fans will no doubt like Tracks 2, 7, & 10 ("Drunk", 'Only One", and "Sprack Chica Boogie") and will really appreciate Andrew "Huggybear" Huggard's Harmonica playing on those tracks. You can check out a nice Live version of "Sprack Chica Boogie" on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0zkDQTNJgo&. Norine Braun is truly a master of whatever Genre she chooses to perform and when she plays the blues, it comes across as true as any blues artists could accomplish.
Tracks 1, 4, 5, and 8 ("Drift Away", "Midnight", "I Will/I Won't", "No.8") are somewhat Pop in style and although they are a little slower in delivery, that does not make them any less intense, especially the title track "No. 8".
Track 3 ("Neutral Territory"), is a nice little song that is done in a Folk/Country Style, similar in sound to a few of kd lang's more countryish songs. Mandolin and Harmonica are great additions to this Track.
Track 6 ("Nothing To Hide"), takes us back to the 50's Style Rock "N" Roll with as one reviewer described, "a 1950's sock hop with screaming guitar lines and her vocals echoing to set the mood."
Track 9 ("Paint"), her second to last track, continues to show off Norine's powerful vocal delivery. Once again, I must compare it to kd lang's style, especially when talking about a more soulful jazzier sound. A brilliant song, sang brilliantly.
"No. 8" is the 4th Album I have received from Norine and again she proves that her ability to disappoint, just does not exist, and although I have described music from a few other artists as being hauntingly beautiful, it is above all, that Norine truly deserves that description for her music. Norine Braun is a wonderful musician, as well as, an extremely talented singer and songwriter, something that "No. 8" so eloquently proves.
"No. 8" receives my highest rating of 5*****. Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed. Another Treasure of an Album from a Truly Canadian Treasure...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1.Drift Away 3:28
3.Neutral Territory 2:39
5.I Will/I Won't 4:26
6.Nothing To Hide 2:11
7.Only One 3:39
10.Sprack Chica Boogie 4:40
Listen To Samples Here... http://norinebraun.bandcamp.com/