Wholly WOMAN! No shrinking violet songbird here, Melody Chebrellan is a full fledged phoenix fire breathing, strong and all too human story. She has bestowed upon us an album named Comets & Other Drifting Bodies. The subject matter is heavy in its dedication to the messiness and authenticity of human relationships. The voids, the unspoken conversations, the unrequited attachments. You know, some of the worst the human condition has to offer and yet I found this album to be a feel gooder. Mainly because Chebrellan is baring it ALL - no unsavory thought or feeling of shame left unsaid. She tells all and in return, we don't have to, but we also know we're not alone.
There are so may epic little tales woven here. Again, she digs deep into the nitty, gritty, sometimes downright shitty nature of relationships. She is introspective, unafraid to examine how she or anyone gets into the spots where everything just sucks. She has no problem attempting to answer "how did I get here?" However she is equally at peace with not being able to obtain closure. Her music motivates you to dust yourself off, move on, and don't be afraid to screw up again. Fear is discussed in detail, but it never wins the day and that's a great message to put out into the universe.
Chebrellan's voice is beyond timeless. It's the kind of voice that not only could be placed in different decades, but literally other centuries. While she sticks to a very solid delivery that is very singer/songwriter, she slips into a more classical sound. She can get a little jazzy and when she does it's furiously fabulous. She also has moments where she carries notes like a siren and you would best believe she would have a plethora of ship wrecks to her name. The range is broad and awe inspiring. She's got a voice that will etch itself into your memory. Those pipes are are the stuff of muses.
Blues, jazz and folk all bent to her will in this album. She puts her own spin on all of these genres and more. Everything seems to bend the knee to her voice and mood. However this is very much a full bodied musical experience. A singer like Chebrallan could easily get away with a guitar and a bucket and I would be swooning over this album. However she made the effort to take a step further. While the music doesn't exactly fall too far out of any sort of comfort zone, it stands on its own. I would love to hear her against less orthodox musical arrangements and styles. A few more steps into the modern genres I think would have her slide into astronomical fandom. However I respect and enjoy her love for the classic veins of the genres she tackles and clearly she knows how to do them right.
Someone like Chebrellan is someone I would consider to be an essential in my personal collection. She's timeless, fearless, motivating and a damn fine performer. This album also acts as a very convincing advertisement to see her live and best believe, I am on that mission as soon as I'm done writing this review.
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