Secrets and Lies - Bertie Blackman Album Review

Secrets and Lies - Bertie Blackman Album Review


Album Review

Posted: 15th November, 2009

It was with some trepidation that I started listening to Bertie Blackman's new album 'Secrets and Lies'. Probably for the most part because of that stereotypical idea I (did) have of Australian musicians. Don't get me wrong I'm one of Nick Caves biggest fans and I have plenty of Triffids and Go Between's records from the day, but apart from that I'm stuck in the mind set of Men at Work, Savage Garden and Kylie. I know, time to stop being so narrow minded!

A brief trip through Blackman's biography revels that at 25 years of age, this is her third album release following 'Headway' and 'Black'. She is a self-thought multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, the daughter of the famous Australian artist Charles Blackman (check him out, he's done some good stuff!). Her original pre 'Secrets and Lies' work was one of an alt-rock persona but she now appears to have come down on the electro side.

Within only a couple of three plays the album grows and I'm already feeling guilty for the Australian pigeon holing comment!

Bertie's vocals is haunting almost soulful very much like Catherine MacLellen and none so than on the opening track 'Town of Sorrow, it sounds so natural. 'Thump' is a brilliant example of that voice, a bit more 'rocky', perhaps a sign of her previous work. 'Byrd's of Prey' gives that electro feel and is the next single to be released from the album. I really hope this gets some air time and makes the play lists. I also enjoy the track 'White Owl' piercing keyboards and strings, very strong - this track makes the album for me.

The album has been mixed and produced by Lee Groves who has worked with Gwen Stefani and Goldfrapp, you can see why Blackman has linked up with him, the combination works well and she is obviously moving in a similar direction to his other employers.

I eat humble pie and certainly reassess my opening comments and say without much doubt that Bertie Blackman will become a household name in the near future. She will sit comfortably in my record collection with fellow Australians, Mr Cave and co.

Mat Radbourne

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