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Tracey Browne Tracey Browne
Album: The Doctrine Of Song
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

For me one of the signs of a great songwriter is that they are constantly on the move, the nod towards their previous works and head towards new horizons. It's a risky process and one that's more difficult to achieve if it's aligned to constant progress, even the really great won't always get it right, one of my favourite Kate Bush songs is "Forgive Me My Mistakes", because it so honestly exposes that very point, don't worry Tracey, you don't need to write your version of that yet. This is more to highlight that if you're expecting this to be another "Everyone Is Ordinary", you are going to be disappointed, if you're expecting a Tracey Browne album, activate those smile muscles now, you're going to need them.

I've been lucky enough to see Tracey perform live a number of times and on each occasion it's been as a solo artist, well that's not entirely true I've also seen her as part of a band, actually as a sidesman for Thea Gilmore and it's no coincidence that her husband, Nigel Stonier, produced not only this album, but also Tracey's previous solo cut, "Everyone Is Ordinary." I digress.

The reason I refer to watching Ms. Browne performing as a solo artist is that you get to hear the songs a very different way so you know just how strong her writing is as the songs move from band style to just voice and guitar and on a lot of a occasions without a PA. Did I mention that Tracey is also a sound engineer, so she's a hyphen junkie that really knows her stuff and hopefully you will to as you indulge in the likes of "The Doctrine Of Song".

There is a harder almost rockier edge to the new album, but it's certainly not at the expense of melody and narrative, let's be clear this is an album that is very rich in songs. All helped by Tracey being a keen observer of life in all its forms.

Tracey Browne is one of those highly talented artists that is due more recognition and hopefully "The Doctrine Of Song" will be the catalyst that gets her to a wider audience she deserves and as you sit on the sofa listening again to this album, you'll be able to nod sagely and say, I was a small part of that story. An album well worth taking a chance on.

There's a launch gig at Three Minute Theatre, Manchester (bottom of Afflecks Palace arcade) on Saturday 9th December at 7.30pm and tickets are still available if you're quick. See website for details.

Neil King