Fits & Fables by Marah vanBeekom is an interesting showcase for the artist’s sultry voice and wild west styling. Her theme seems to be a throwback to the type of singer you might stumble upon in a saloon on the western frontier. It is a unique mix of soulful sass and western storytelling through lyrics and women-power pop.
The opening song “Underneath it All” sets the scene for this nod to musical theater. The hero of this song is a lady that has just been pushed too far by a cheating partner. There is a bit of a contrast with an old-fashioned desire to be the good wife and taking a stand to finally stop his cheating ways. We are reminded that the beauty of this female storyteller is hidden underneath her feminine wears and takes the form of a gun to be used on the cheater.
“The Clock” gives the listener a deeper understanding of the devotion the female lead gives to her soulmate. It is a bit slower paced but this adds to the storytelling element. This song also features some interesting vocals that add some unusual drama to the more theatrical piece of the set. I enjoyed this song, and felt a connection to the sadness of the lyrics and the almost painful times when the clock seems to move at an inhumanly slow pace.
As a closing piece for the album, “Murder Ballad No. 1” serves as a fabulous ending to the story. Many can identify with the passion behind being hurt enough by a break-up that it is nice to fantasize about making the ex simply disappear. One of the best lines was “...there is poetry in revenge.” That sums up the underlying joy of finally standing up and not settling any longer.
I found the album to be enjoyable and an entertaining mix of musical theater, sultry blues and pop. Given the emotion and flair in her voice, this would be fun to see in person. Again it seems like this would fit nicely on a stage at a long lost saloon sung by a jolted barmaid.
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