Brutal Romantic

Brutal Romantic

by Brooke Fraser


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Kiwi native Brooke Fraser continues to distance herself from the more folk-oriented singer/songwriter fare of her earlier work, distinctly turning a corner on her fourth LP Brutal Romantic. An acoustic songbird trying on an edgier pop sound isn't necessarily a revolution, but this sea change still feels pretty dramatic when compared to some of the pleasant but innocuous folk-pop cuts from her last release 2010's Flags. Aided by co-producer David Kosten (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything), Brutal Romantic has a very deliberate sonic palette, full of warm distortions and stuttering, clamorous beats with plenty of open landscapes for Fraser to unfold herself in. Her guitar is noticeably absent throughout as the songs emerge through sleek, icy verses often leading to vibrant, gospel choir-assisted choruses. This counterpoint between light and dark elements is highly effective on standouts like the intense, soulful opener "Psychosocial" and the sensual, jungle thump of "Thunder." Against this cinematic, synth-laden backdrop, Fraser sounds fully in control, delivering commanding performances and stretching her artistic muscle on material that feels both experimental and accessible. Already a veteran star in New Zealand, this foray into modern pop puts her on the world stage alongside contemporaries like Ellie Goulding, Feist, Lana Del Rey, and fellow countrywoman Lorde. Echoes of each of these artists can be heard in Fraser's new design and her greatest difficulty may now be keeping her own distinct edge in an arena already crowded with darkly inclined pop stars. Brutal Romantic may be a bit uneven with its best songs loaded onto the front half, but it's certainly an exciting release and represents a major development in Fraser's career.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2014
Label: Vagrant Records
UPC: 0601091425828
catalogNumber: 4258

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brooke Fraser   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Colin Paris   Bass
Stephen Tees   Viola
Allen Walley   Bass
Dan Wilson   Keyboards
John Fisher   Choir Master
Bill Hawkes   Viola
Martin Owen   French Horn
Jason Cooper   Drums
Ian Humphries   Violin
Nic Pendlebury   Viola
Richard Watkins   French Horn
Jonathan Tunnell   Cello
David Pyatt   French Horn
Ian Burdge   Cello
Andy Wood   Tenor Trombone
Nick Roberts   Cello
John Metcalfe   Conductor
Richard George   Violin
Joel Pott   Vocals
Gillon Cameron   Violin
David Stewart   Bass Trombone
Reiad Chibah   Viola
Nicola Sweeney   Violin
Frances Dewar   Violin
David Kosten   Synthesizer,Percussion
Claire Hayes   Violin
Rachel Roberts   Viola
Tobias Fröberg   Synthesizer,Guitar
Kid Harpoon   Guitar
Chris West   Bass
Chris Allan   Cello
Rick Koster   Violin
Bozidar Vukotic   Cello
Rose Redgrave   Viola
Vicky Matthews   Cello
Christopher Windass   Violin
Alison Dods   Violin
Louisa Fuller   Violin,Leader
Phillip Eastop   French Horn
Katherine Gowers   Violin
Peter Hanson   Violin
Oliver Langford   Violin
Natalie Bonner   Violin
Beth Simmons   Bass
James Ahwai   Bass,Bass Guitar
IDMC Choir   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Steve Orchard   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Paul Pritchard   Assistant Orchestra Engineer
Dan Wilson   Composer,Producer
John Metcalfe   Orchestration
Joel Pott   Composer,Lyricist,Engineer
David Kosten   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Matt Hales   Composer,Programming,Lyricist,Engineer
Scott Ligertwood   Composer,Lyricist
Brooke Fraser   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Tobias Fröberg   Composer,Lyricist,Engineer
Kid Harpoon   Composer,Lyricist,Engineer
Mo Hausler   Engineer
Ryan Taubert   Programming
Campbell Hooper   Artwork
John Rausch   Vocal Engineer
Jamie Ashton   Assistant Orchestra Engineer

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