Dana Fuchs Broken Down NEVER! Her vocals growl the guitar strums and the harmonica pierces the emotional landscape. Broken Down the album that is stripped back like an old oak floor to the emotional heart of the song. The mix of new material and tracks from Bliss Avenue and Songs From the Road plus a cover. The majority of tracks it is a duo of Dana’s vocals and percussion with Jon Diamond on acoustic & electric guitars and harmonica. Other tracks have guest musicians who add tonal layers and re-shape the songs, but whoever is performing the dominant force is Dana Fuchs.
Opening with Almost Home, the blending of guitar and harmonica you instantly know this is a different side of Dana, no whirlwind but a gentle breeze that communicates the narrative with passion and conviction. This style continues and Dana has made the lyrics into a tonal eulogy of all the hurt, loss and love experienced What Went Right is full of yearning about love that died and trying to recall the good times. The delivery of Bobby Bland’s, Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City, has a livelier tempo and the lyrics are sung with passion and full of Dana’s gritty tones that really suit the reshaping of a great song.
A lullaby that has a spiritual feel, with sweet gentle tones of Dana washing over you a perfect antidote to awash the stress away and resembles a tender hug as she sings “Don’t Cry without me I am only a moment away”; despite the inherent sadness that washes through Moment Away. As an antidote the piano intro and backdrop to the vocals on Wait Up, her voice rises and then fades away almost as if the piano’s damper pedal has been used on the vocal framing; the tempo stays the same but this has a different texture.
The country feel of Keepsake as Dana ‘finally finds hope’ this is a tonal poem as the words almost spoken with a lilt and the relentless strumming for the acoustic works in harmonious unity. As the album draws to the close the harp pierces on Misery, you know this is not going to be a happy ride, with her voice drenched in the hurt of yearning that you can taste on the notes. Closing the album with Sad Salvation the voice is lighter and Dana has all the pain of love loss and hurt inflected onto the lyric as the last notes fade away.
Dana’s vocals are a gut-wrenching mix of the rough with the smooth, the hope and despair of love and loss are captured in the shaping of the words into a musical journey.
The song writing is superb with majority songs written by Dana and others in collaboration. That said, one criticism of the album which has an authentic sound capturing Dana is we need the warmth of some sunshine to pierce the emotional depths. For me the album would have worked better with a dozen rather than fourteen. Despite that this is an album that has been crafted with passion and the songs are all beautiful acoustic sessions from Dana Fuchs showing a different side. Dana Fuchs, Broken Down is and album that will touch your emotional core.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Almost Home
- The Lie
- What Went Right
- Climb Over
- Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
- Baby Loves Life
- Moment Away
- Wait Up
- Kind Of Love
- So Hard To Move
- Say So Long
- Sad Salvation