One Cell In The Sea by A Fine Frenzy

One Cell In The Sea, the latest from A Fine Frenzy starts out with a dainty chipperness that may lead you to believe the overall mood of the rest of the album may be continuously delightful.

But singer/songwriter Alison Sudol is a tricky girl.

By the third song "Whisper", she’s got you hooked and leads you down the rabbit hole into a storybook world of melancholy elegance and heartbreak. Alison’s delicate voice morphs between sweet coos and chirps against a soft piano, drums and the occasional digital bits.

Her bio mentions voices like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald as main influences, but what Aretha is to strong, Alison is to delicate. She sings beautifully in her own right.

“I thought for a while that I’d become a big blues singer like Etta James or a soul singer like Aretha Franklin,” she told Interview magazine, “but I’m an itty-bitty little white girl.”

With ivory skin and fire-red hair, Alison has the beautiful-sad thing down pat. She probably even cries beautifully, mascara smearing just so.

For those of you who love a romantic tragedy, A Cell In The Sea will probably find a place amongst your “just broken up with” collection.

But beware of the song “Almost Lover.”

I might just be especially emotional today (listening to a lot of Otis Redding), but this track is sung so painfully that it brought actual tears to my eyes.

The rest of the album keeps with the hopeless/romantic theme, so if you choose to enjoy this fine piece of art, make sure there are tissues nearby.


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