Various: Fresh Frequencies
By Tony Parker
'Fresh Frequencies' is a project put together to showcase songwriters who have some connection with the Marlborough region, either living there or having been resident in the north of the south at some stage. As with any compilation of this nature there is a diverse cross section of musical styles contained within, making for a varied journey through the provinces songwriting talent. There are some commonalities with many songs having a rootsy, acoustic emphasis - and it is here that the strengths of this compilation lie. Highlights include the alt countryish Just Ask Al from Steve Leslie, Heather Jameson's jazzy Bumblebee, Anneka Thwaites and Holly Hedley's folky introspection, a Feelers style pop/rock effort from Pete Holm and Ben McAlpine's Old Man Pine which is choc full of local imagery. Musically all the artists put in accomplished performances and as producers of the album Leslie, Holm and Thwaites deserve credit for the way in which they have captured the essence of each musician's composition. Overall it's a solid representation of songwriting talent from a province not thought of as a musical heavyweight, showing signs that might say otherwise.