Brooke Sharkey - A Taste Of Truth
Nick Lewis 04/09/2010
A Taste of Truth is the work of an artist who is at once eminently capable and not quite there yet. Brooke Sharkey is a 22 year old bi-lingual singer-songwriter who slips as effortlessly between English and French as she does Ute Lemper cabaret and My Brightest Diamond melodrama.
Given a cursory listen, this EP sounds like just another girl with a guitar, but that is a disservice to Sharkey who is an excellent singer and an extremely capable guitarist. Her control is perfect, her delivery spot on and her range impressive.
However, the songs and the arrangements are not quite there yet. Sharkey feels like a songwriter who hasn't finished developing yet. Her songs are interesting (particularly when operating in cabaret/jazz mode) and there are flashes of Peggy Sue quirkiness, but each song is a little too long, each melody not quite memorable and the arrangements are too polite.
In particular, 'Home and Our Ways' would benefit from being lifted out of gentle acoustic territory and re-tooled with some brass to emphasis the vamp. As technically perfect as Sharkey is, she needs to stop sitting cross legged on stage with an acoustic guitar and really go for it. Everything is too safe, too comfortable.
Although a dedicated proponent of the 'less is more' style of production, in Sharkey's case, more is definitely more! She has all the right elements, and she is an exceptionally capable musician, but she needs to move out of her comfort zone and amplify the edges.