US - California - Full Moon 34 - 07/28/99
In the world of books, self-publishing is frowned upon. Writers who
produce their own books are thought of as vain or impatient, even
though the publishing opportunities open to them grow increasingly
competitive and often go to established writers. Fortunately,
self-production and independent labels are on the rise in the world
of music, with many now-major artists beginning by producing their
first albums, and some, such as Ani DiFranco, steadfastly staying
independent even while major label offers pour in.
When Fisher's song Breakable appeared on the Great
soundtrack last year, it was a standout on an otherwise humdrum
collection. People began to ask, "Where can I get their album?".
"What album?", was the response, for while the soundtrack was
produced by Atlantic Records, Fisher's contract called for only one
song and no more.
Well, the wait is over. Amid this current of self-produced albums
comes one of the best debut albums to surface in a long while. With
only nine tracks, it is able to do what few major label albums can:
make you long for more. Until then, you'll have to contend yourself
by hitting the Repeat button on your CD player.
Fisher is named after singer/lyricist Kathy Fisher, whose lush
vocals find hints of Sarah McLachlan one moment, Natalie Merchant's
purr another, with a bit of gruffness around the edges when needed.
And as with many modern female songwriters, Fisher matches her
radiant voice with a strong musicianship, producing songs with
co-writer Ron Wasserman that contain integrity and lyricism.
The first track to grab your ears is The Life, an aggressive
commentary on mass-produced celebrity and how the spotlight so often
generates reproach by those that seek it. Another high point of the
first listen is Hello It's Me, a rollicking piano driven track
addressing Atlantic's lack of a contract even with Breakable's
success: "You filled me with Great Expectations / just to hide me in
The rocking tracks are nicely balanced with lyrical ballads, such as
True North or I Will Love You, though every track is worth
noting and deserving of a listen. Also refreshing: though the drums
are programmed, they don't sound programmed, and are most often
coupled with real guitar and bass, giving the songs life rather than
One is currently only available through online music stores, but the
music fans on the Internet are hearty troops, eagerly spreading the
good word about albums and artists they've discovered, and this good
word will hopefully include Fisher. In fact, this album first came
to my attention thanks to a mention on Tori Amos fan site and I am
You can check out Fisher's official website,
for more information.
Copyright © 1999 J. A. Gilbert