Any musical act that has the support of Jack White immediately becomes “aces” in my book, which is precisely the case for the Smoke Fairies and their new album Blood Speaks; well, on some levels that is. This blues-folk rock duo from England has a true smooth, mellow sound unlike any other. This would be their second full album and compared to the few songs that I heard from the first album, they have created a bigger, more technically sound album.
The best thing I can say about this album is how they have really come into their own, especially in terms of their backing instruments. The two women have really turned a corner with how they introduce and use the rest of the traveling musicians they bring along with them, most evident on “The Three of Us”. Along with their improved musicianship they have completely grown as singers not fighting against one another, but complimenting each other. Their experiences together have really helped mold them to the point where you can’t recognize which one is singing. Their voices are in such unison it adds depth and camaraderie to the songs, not truly seen in other acts of a similar dual-voiced nature. In “Let me know”, the whole song should be used as an example of how two singers perform together as it starts from word one and doesn’t let up till the end.
Unfortunately, their skill at singing and incorporating other instruments doesn’t translate to their song writing. Now, I am not saying all albums or songs should be fun, but the whole album is a chore to listen to with the mellowness amped up to an unnerving level. I definitely wouldn’t advise a listener who is depressed to take on this album as it definitely won’t help in that regard.
I imagine any Smoke Fairies fan would like this album and I can even recommend a song or two, but I can’t recommend the whole album for non-fans as I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my civic duty as a writer and a genial human being.
Tags: good guy greg, Reviews, Smoke Fairies - Blood Speaks album review