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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Brendel, Doris - 2010 The Last Adventure
Brendel, Doris - 2010 The Last Adventure

ARTIST: Brendel, Doris
ALBUM: The Last Adventure
LABEL: Sky Rocket Records
YEAR: 2010
SPONSOR: Doris Brendel


LINEUP: Doris Brendel - lead and backing vocals, fiddle, flagolet * Dave Beeson - guitars, backing vocals * Mike Wesson - keyboards * Andre Harewood - bass, backing vocals * Steve Clark - drums, percussion * Aitch McRobbie, Julie Harrington, Julie Winchester, Lynne Butler, Jo Maloney, Mark Dalton - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 What Are You Saying * 02 The Last Adventure * 03 I'm Not Old I'm Experienced * 04 Latest Fantasy * 05 What Have I Done * 06 Work In Progress * 07 Get A Life * 08 You're Almost Perfect * 09 Be My Guitar * 10 Why Are You Still Here * 11 My Town * 12 Memory



Awhile back, we reviewed the CD reissue of British lite prog outfit The Velvet Hour, a band signed to a major label back in the late 80's and early 90's, and who featured singer Doris Brendel up front. Brendel has been an industrious woman over the years, involved with many projects and in 2010 she lands what is a significant milestone in her solo career with the release of 'The Last Adventure'. Despite the pre-conceived notion that Doris dabbles mostly in the prog/celtic/folk genres, 'The Last Adventure' to my ears is more of a rock based venture, and surprisingly good as a result. On occasion, Doz will throw in the odd whimsical pop offering too, and for those of you who appreciate everything from The Beatles through to The Cranberries, Jellyfish and more modern fare such as Muse or Radiohead, then this might come as a welcome surprise. The two key ingredients to this album are the husky vocals of Doris coupled with the roughened edge of Dave Beeson's guitarwork. The duo have written the material of this CD together, though they don't get caught in a false sense of security because there is a load of variety on 'The Last Adventure'.

The Songs
Starting out with 'What Are You Saying', this is quite a rocky opener, and sounds like it's well steeped from the 90's era. 'The Last Adventure' displays some pop whimsy in the intro, but regathers itself with a pop/country crossover sound, the harmony vocals give it a bit of depth too. 'I'm Not Old I'm Experienced' combines modern textures with a funky overtone. I can just imagine Doris wearing 70's attire, stacked platform heels and an afro wig belting out this tune in some smokey bar in Nowhereville U.S.A! 'Latest Fantasy' is a superb tune, lilting, with the rare flageolet (a medieval woodwind instrument) being used throughout to add to the ambience, coupled with some sweeping synth work and Doris' dreamy vocal. 'What Have I Done' returns to that whimsical Britpop style that The Beatles and their subsequent imitators made famous. 'Work In Progress' features a regimented mid-section, some near harpsichord sounding keys, and Dave Beeson gets to let loose with a display of power chords which gives the impression of a fully laden rocker. I liked the modern sounding 'Get A Life', with dare I say it, a touch of power pop which acts as a little booster rocket. A great live tune no doubt. Melancholy abounds with 'You're Almost Perfect', describing a perfect love that's not quite there. To my way of thinking, that is why songs were created, as a form of lament. 'Be My Guitar' brings back the funky overtone we heard before, this one has a home in the mid 70's for sure! Dave Beeson gets to perform some guitar magic at the start of 'Why Are You Still Here', coupled with the modern synth flash from Mike Wesson, though this track is all over the place in terms of time changes and a stop/start arrangement. It's quite a bit different to the rest of the album, likeable nonetheless. 'My Town' maintains an uptempo presence, and is sung in a defensive (as in proud) manner. 'Memory' is a song of past relationship remembrance. I'm sure we all have that feeling of remembering someone that was close in our life, but has since drifted away, but we still can't quite get them out of our minds. This song conveys that to a tee.

In Summary
Overall, this CD comes across as a light-hearted affair, though upon deeper inspection, 'The Last Adventure' actually refers to that final crossing of the great divide, when we (err hmm) 'pass on'. Doris's inspiration came from the passing of her mother, and as many of us have come to realise, no one truly knows what lies beyond, so in effect, it really is our 'last adventure'. It may sound like a morbid sort of subject, but it doesn't come across that way on the album. 'The Last Adventure' is a very pleasant listen, well suited to the GDAZE audience as it straddles the fence between Doris' past influential eras of the 80' and 90's with the trends and styles of today. Though as Doris points out and to paraphrase a recent quote: 'no one is really doing my type of music'... Check out some of the soundclips over at Doris' website. Official CD release: 1 November 2010.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 30 2010 11:31:51
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