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CD REVIEW: Lauren Fincham – Burning Tree
By Ben Ohmart - 06/26/2001 - 12:02 PM EDT

Artist: Lauren Fincham
Album: Burning Tree
CD Review: Not sure what to call this CD. Pop? Acoustic pop? Folk rock? Country pop? Just plain alt-rock? Probably the best way to check is to listen to the 45 minute, 15 track cd and write in.

Lauren, before moving solo, opened for acts like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Christine Kane and John & Mary when she was with a couple alt-rock bands like The Savants and The Soul Guardians.

Speaking of John & Mary, yeah, she does have that 10k Maniacs aura to her, certainly in the voice and quiet departments. Though the lead off song, ‘Lost & Found Bar,’ is something like country jazz (muted trumpet in 1 ear, old bang-up guitar in another), evened out by Lauren’s own smooth vocals that could ease down a fire just by charm alone. ‘Down where the clock and clown lie / Angels will swear / They can fly / It’s never far / Come as you are / Down to the lost and found bar.’

Like all good poetry, it takes a time or 2 to decipher the clear meaning of some of these, and that validates all parking tickets. Take ‘The Crowd,’ a beautifully simple trio of players behind words of ‘Dressing up holy / and walking around / Looking for shadows / That no one has found / The wind is louder / Than the crowd / And I can hear you / Run every mile.’

If Lauren’s music reminds you of good house haunting meat, minus the chains and squeaks, consider it also a score for a stately vision of the woman who died before her time, with some regrets, and some clues to a life still unsure of.

The beautiful acoustic guitar opening to ‘Palmetto Waltz’ signals the start of one of the most lusciously vital songs on the CD. ‘How does she pivot / This moment in time / Just to be dancing alone? / I bet my diary / The moon has been sliding / Far from home / All she remembers / Can’t even buy / Bringing in the morning / Breathing in the night.’ Music for Anne Rice fans, and those believing in the vibrancy of sunrises.

A very stylishly laid-out CD as well, from the good people at Twelfth House Records. It’s a fold-out thing, with all lyrics lovingly shown, since they are part of the star’s act. A witty and wonderful release from this professional Atlanta girl.

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