The debut CD of Alaskan songstress Brook Faulk, I’m On Fire, is a stunning array of well crafted, introspective songs delivered in a voice that carries a sultry lilt, but is strong nonetheless. Faulk is a native of the laid back country life of Oregon, and relocated to Alaska several years ago where she established herself in the local music scene. After several trips to Nashville, recording demos and gaining experience, a series of events led her to recording with former members of the Waylon Jennings Band for her first solo release. It is obvious she is heavily influenced by the country Artists of her youth with a bit of Southern Rock thrown in for good measure, and the entire CD encompasses a balance between a retro and current feel. Faulk wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks with the exception of “Ghost Town,” written by David Walker.
The CD is introduced by the title track, “I’m On Fire” where she plans to “set the whole world ablaze” with her fire and passion for music and love. “That Kind of Woman” is a sultry declaration of what a woman would do with no conscience, in regards to stealing a man from his current lover. But in the end, she’s “not that kind of woman.” The lyrics are direct and full of colored imagery and carry a mystical quality reminiscent of the writing of Stevie Nicks, delivered in a rootsy undertone.
“Arsenic” is definitely a strong highlight in a mournful plea of desperation and deadly love. Faulk becomes vulnerable and soulfully open in this track, her voice haunting and full of longing.
You are like arsenic
running through my veins
I am an addict to the pain
I have been hypnotized by your cold blue flame
She turns upbeat on the next two tracks with “Let’s Get Out Of Here”, a great duet with her brother Darrel Bigelow, and “Only Me To Blame” is a honkytonk swagger about a one night stand. Vulnerability surfaces again with a hint of of seventies-era Emmylou Harris with “Hell and High Water” and “Runaway Train” is just plain ol’ country fun but “Rain Down” has Faulk at her darkest, and most beautiful. This song hardly seems as if it could come straight out of a newcomer, with it’s depth and lyrical content placing her in a category all on her own. Think Gillian Welch and Mindy Smith with a biting edge.
“River Home” and “Low Down Dirty and Mean” take the listener on a rockin’ ride with southern driven rhythms, and strong vocals. The bonus track “Ghost Town” has Faulk at her hauntingly best, conjuring images of a bereft abandoned soul, desolate without love.
All in all, with definitive songwriting and a powerful voice, Brook Faulk has what it takes to stake an original claim in the country market.
– Wade Phillips
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