Brave like me (Ravish, 2003)
A life of singer-songwriter is a hard one. Any songwriter can come up with interesting chord progressions and insightful melodies, but the true test of a singer-songwriter comes with penning of lyrics. Poetry and universal thinking isn’t everyone’s forte and few songwriters have the talent of a Tom Waits, Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. Most songwriters, including Deborah Falconer with her CD release, Brave like me, write too personal of lyrics resembling something cribbed from a diary. She’s not alone of course, since I noticed a lot of self-absorbed lyrics coming from the rock and pop genres which is why I began listening to music sung in other languages.I do not know Deborah’s age or background, but I would suggests that she travel to other countries, get a broader view of the world, besides her own personal life. I suggests that she learn other vocal styles besides the heart-aching one that too often recalls Tori Amos or Ricky Lee Jones since this just doesn’t come across as authentic. I think as Deborah grows as an artist her song writing will mature into something more universal. At the moment she is playing it safe by sticking with the usual Western instrumentation and not stretching her vocals or emotions. She could learn a lot from her songwriting predecessors and contemporaries, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco and Janis Joplin. In the meantime, Brave like me proves pleasant enough with sweet chord progressions embellished by strings, piano, pedal steel and electric organ. It’s the perfect CD for the white middle class college crowd that hasn’t crossed the bridge yet from me to us or from America to the rest of the world.