A Killer’s Dream is the new album of Rachel Brooke. Announced to come out on the fourth of December (pretty soon yes) the album is now on Pre-sale (no, not “pré-salé”, that’s about lambs meat from Mont St. Michel) on Rachel’s official site. Playing with a full band (Viva Le Vox is taking care of the better part of this job) for the first time, Brooke cut the whole album live on analogue 2” tape. In fact, they didn’t even turn on a computer until the mastering began. Each track was nailed down in a few takes, and the sound of the album is the kind that a lot of bands would dream about.
If I got my figures right this must be the third album by Rachel Brooke. There are a lot of other projects Rachel was involved in, on which I will not talk too much now, but searching a bit on the web will show us Rachel with the Perreze farm, Jayke Orvis, Lonesome Wyatt (also on A Killer’s Dream), Those Poor Bastards and others.
Rachel Brooke is from Michigan, grows up with her parents who play bluegrass music and spends her adolescence playing in various punk-rock outfits. Today we find Rachel as a (relatively) young songwriter. She’s a bit country, slightly gothic, somewhat rock and roll and sings with a hint of soul. Her music style is referred to as country-soul, but as you might know already I myself am not a big fan of too rigid tags and labelling. For me it’s pretty clear that her music reflects a quite divers musical life-experience, and a lady who apparently has some quite defined ideas on where’s she gonna take this. Already with her second album « Down in the Barnyard (2011) » Rachel obtains quite a lot of positive reviews and gets to be named « Queen of the Underground » (attributed by the Triggerman of the famous blog « Saving Country Music »).
And that’s where I disagree a little bit. For it’s with the 10 original titles on A Killer’s Dream (plus Rachel’s version of Fats Domino’s « every night about this time ») that Rachel might be taking her music elsewhere. I’m afraid that, and I might be taking a small risk here, Rachel just outgrew her title of Underground Queen. She’s taking her music from the underground scene to a more accessible kingdom. On A Killer’s Dream Rachel Brooke confirms herself as a queen, her superb vocal qualities and her ability of good song writing are more than evident, but what adds on to that this time are the arrangements and the ideas on the final sound of the album. A Killer’s Dream is still a nice reflection of Rachel Brooke’s past and acquired experiences, but she might be taking her career to places other than small underground stages and bars. I think that with her new album Queen Rachel is taking her citizens towards new horizons.