New Zealand singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser is most well-known for her musical contributions to Australian rock collective Hillsong UNITED, but Fraser has been doing some beautiful solo work that deserves to be discovered. Her solo efforts first appeared on her 2006 release What To Do With Daylight where she toured with John Mayer and David Bowie across Australia and New Zealand. Now with her sophomore album, Albertine in the spotlight we have the chance to hear her serene vocals captured with lyrics that are at the very heart and passion of her work.
In 2005, Fraser traveled to Rwanda before visiting her World Vision sponsor children in Tanzania. Fraser met Albertine, a young orphan girl and after being told of how she was rescued, Fraser decided to dedicate the album to her and what the girl’s story stood for; being saved because of the love of another. Fraser says in the liner notes, “Albertine is alive today because of the selfless, sacrificial love of another. Funny thing is, so am I [referring to Jesus]. And now I want to know what it’s like to love other people like that, so have decided to spend my whole life on the experiment.”
Fraser’s style is refreshing and brings about new vocal tonalities on every song; this is not a cookie-cutter album by any means. Fraser makes it clear she has discovered things and has something to say, like on “C.S. Lewis” she says, “If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here”, and on “Love, Where Is Your Fire?” Fraser shows the battle of the flesh with the desire for God, “So I stand, handing out torches/Speaking words that are lamps to their feet…Then doubt comes to lie at the back of my mind/That I’ll offer you me and you’ll politely decline (no thank you)/So I hasten to mute it, I’ll shout and rebuke it – ‘away!’”
Fraser’s style is poetic and serene, it dives deep in discovery and isn’t afraid to be honest; this is an album to relish and it will provide revelations that will soak into your soul and inspire you to live with a heart of justice, compassion, and humility.
Writer: Lindsay Whitfield