A Fine Frenzy
One Cell in the Sea


4.0
excellent

Review

by natey USER (46 Reviews)
May 17th, 2008 | 23 replies | 7,525 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Delightful debut.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Coffee and good music is a terrific combination. Thus, when one very early morning in downtown Niagara “Almost Lover” happened to come on while lounging in Starbucks, a coffee in my hand, two friends by my side, I was quite enthused. I had actually downloaded One Cell in the Sea a week or two before I heard the track, but had not really listened to it. Anyhow, noticing the song and discovering what it was I made time to listen to the album. As apparent by my rating, it was time well spent.

A Fine Frenzy is the sobriquet of pianist/singer-songwriter Alison Sudol. She has a lovely voice, and a knack for composing equally lovely pieces, containing gentle orchestrations and supple melodies. Her music is rich and powerful, but not aggressive by any means; it seems almost timid, beneath its innocent profundity. Her lyrics are genuinely well written, and combined with her music it creates atmospheres ranging from haunting, to delicate and comforting.

“You Picked Me” showcases her range of talents. There is constant piano beside the rest of the musical accompaniment, and her strong voice delivering with its clear beauty. She doesn’t display any wild virtuosity in her piano playing, but the composition and execution is perfect. One standout track is “Rangers”, with its thick chorus and pretty verse. Her voice is exceptional in the chorus, as she sings of how maybe we don’t want to be found before the music falls to a small bridge with twirling violins and bouncy piano. Finally we cruise back into the enrapturing chorus, possibly my favorite phrases on the record. The other single on the record (“Rangers” was one also) is the aforementioned “Almost Lover”. It’s a strong, poignant song, filled with elegant melodies and raw passion in her voice. The piano is played modestly but provides gorgeous accompaniment to Sudol and the soft strings which enter in the middle of the song.

Since I’ve basically only mentioned the two singles it may seem like they are all One Cell in the Sea has to offer, but nothing could be further from the truth. The album is very consistent; from the first two tracks which start the album off solidly, and just the fact that the singles don’t even come along until tracks five and six show that it’s a substantial record and that she has faith in the quality of the openers. “Think of You”, “Ashes in Wine” all have genuinely good melodies and enough substance to warrant several listens. The album is huge, featuring 14 tracks which stretch over an hour; no track is shorter then three and a half minutes. I honestly can’t think of a track I don’t enjoy. “Liar Liar” is beautiful, with its pretty verse and another solid chorus. It ends with a grand outro, with clever instrumentation. “Lifesize”, “Near to You”, “The Minnow & the Trout”, “Hope For the Hopeless”, and finally the magnificent closer “Borrowed Time” are all great.

Trying to think of a shortcoming of the album I suppose you could blame her consistency. Each track is so durable that it feels a little straightforward, constant. There are no real breaks in enjoyment of it. If that’s a problem for you then I don’t know what to say.

The beautiful redhead has created, if nothing else, a very strong debut. Her music has been featured in many television shows and debuted at #158 on the Billboard 200. Disregarding the success, it really is an outstanding album. Well worth money or whatever effort you put into getting this. Groundbreaking? A masterpiece? Probably not, but it’s pretty fantastic.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
May 17th 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i love this album. her voice is amazing

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I bought this album without ever hearing or reading anything about it. I was looking for a Fates Warning re-issue and the name of the CD caught my attention and the sticker on the front called it "haunting" so I had to get it. It's not haunting, but it's still good.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 22nd 2008



3709 Comments


It's alright, i was never really able to get into it though. Come On, Come Out is a nice song.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2008



15727 Comments


My band's singer repped this to me. I didn't take it really seriously

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I'm not trying to say it is great or life changing, but at least I wasn't disappointed. I'm still curious what about this album the reviewer quoted on the album sticker thought was "haunting" though.

foreverendeared
June 22nd 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

her voice is outstanding, the piano is moving, the music is above average, and the lyrics are engaging. you can tell she is a novelist. i highly recommend this album

natey
June 22nd 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah haunting wouldn't be the first word that comes to mind

Willie
Moderator
June 23rd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh well. This is slowly growing on me too for all the reasons that foreverendeared stated.

foreverendeared
July 30th 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the end drags, that's really the only downside to this album in my opinion.

Kisxxoo
November 10th 2008



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

her voice is amazing!

Damrod
Moderator
March 25th 2009



1093 Comments


I recently stumbled upon this, I really like it so far. It's the perfect music for a slow sunday spent home to relax.

RevengeSoldier
July 1st 2009



295 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I got exposed to her thanks to a twitter post from Mathew Perry. What the FUCK has my life come to?

gaslightanthem
July 1st 2009



5209 Comments


this is okay like 3/5

i mean it's good but it's like hey there are better out there

astrel
July 1st 2009



2614 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

iz okay.

redsparrow
September 1st 2009



431 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Marry me Alison.

marcoaw
August 28th 2010



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Motivational. That's the way it is. A great debut album, I love the first tracks, her voice and her talent are amazing. She is beautiful and looks very much like the singer Ashlee Simpson xD

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2010



14986 Comments


chicks hot iirc but i remember her music being mad boring

natey
August 28th 2010



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ya this is more like a 2.5-3 in my heart post-review

darthbarf
November 23rd 2010



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, I like the review too

darthbarf
November 23rd 2010



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, I like the review too



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