Sometimes it is just nice to hear a female vocalist who plays rock 'n'
roll with the sassy power chords of Heart's Ann and Nancy
Wilson, the bravado of Joan Jett, the operatic versatility
of Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia, and the pop subtleties
of Natasha Bedingfield. Canadian singer-songwriter Vicki Tetreault
has this all and showcases her vocal talents on her self-titled, self-released
debut album. Produced by Giovanni Zappala and Eric D. Applebaum,
Tetreault's album has the hard-rock perimeters of H.I.M. and the
flowy soft rock massaging of Savage Garden. The multiple textures
in the songs deepen their richness and make their craftsmanship very enjoyable
like the exotic acoustic strumming on tracks like "Summer Of Our
Love" and "Keep On Living" which accents the hard rock
paradigms beautifully with Latin undertones. The songs show a lot of experimentation
but always within the confines of being pleasing.
Tetreault gives her vocals a major workout making them as angelically
soft as Courtney Jaye's delicate timbres and as operatic
as Evanescence's Amy Lee's banshee howls which Tetreault
displays effortlessly on the track "Butterfly." Every
track is like the throw of the dice showing something new about
Tetreault's vocals with different angling patterns in the power
chords and orchestral textures. Her vocals have a drowning effect
on the outro of "Summer Of Our Love" to simulate the message
in the lyrics: "In the summer of our love/ Will it ever be."
Tetreault's vocals slowly lose their grip on the love affair with
a spiraling fade out effect. The following track "7 Spirits"
has a wealth of haunting organ and guitar scrambles that project
a Goth rock image along the rhythmic tremors, while songs like "Please
Don't Say" and "Just Another Slap In The Face" have
a straight hard rock magnetism reminiscent of Lacuna Coil as Tetreault
pours out: "You caught me with my cheek unturned/ And my inner
soul exposed" on the track "Just Another Slap In The Face."
Her lyrical themes focus on the beauty and drama of being in a love
affair which also adds to the songs operatic buds.
Tracks like "5ive Minutes," "Loving You" and "Eyes"
have a modern pop slant similar to Natasha Bedingfield with juicy acoustic
guitar rotations along the electric segments and even a harmonica-toned
verses on "Eyes." Tetreault's vocals give these songs character
and meaning as the chord changes make comfortable indentations for the
listener's pleasure. The songs are designed for enjoyment as much as they
are written to release lovelorn sentiments. She also does a fabulous job
on the modern country numbers like "Lie To Me Tonight," "Marry
Me" and "Cryin'" which possess a Patti Griffin-throttled
voicing. The vocals penetrate the melodies like the branding of a hot
iron. The ascending notes on "Crypt" take on an elevating feel
while the hard rock flaunts on "Please Don't Say" portray a
dark, brooding aura.
Vicki Tetreault's debut album has her fingers in many different palettes
from modern country and pop to Goth rock and nu metal configurations and
she sings beautifully through them all. She handled everything that was
thrown at her like a seasoned professional. She curves her vocal melodies
around the chord movements with the astuteness of an expert moving her
singing from operatic to metal rock and country-pop with ease. She is
the type of singer who inspires the singer in others.
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