New CD – Blurred Lines
Babe Gurr just keeps getting better. Blurred Lines, a seven-piece collection of new work proves the point in spades – box of audio chocolates, each one with its own unique flavour. These are songs with complex over and under tones reflecting a songwriter who has outdone her previous work as lyricist and composer while maintaining her ability as a singer of passion and subtlety. Babe has produced these songs herself and she exerts a firm hand, making sure that her voice is front and centre and the production never drowns the creations. She has assembled a fine team with Paul Pigat’s guitar work as a strong partner in delivering the songs.
Blurred Lines starts with “You’re My Truth”, a declaration of dependence in the best sense. It is a bluesy strut that pays tribute to what love can do. “If I Could Fly” embraces a series of random acts of kindness made possible by wings and ends with a classic East Vancouver reference to following the crows to a ‘peaceful place where I can set my feet down.’ It has a gospel tinge with references to wings, heaven and wisdom. “Dark Sided Man” is a love letter to someone- a relative; a friend- embittered by disappointment, defeat, age- something. The almost surf guitar treatment buries a hard truth in a soft approach that offers the promise of some kind of deliverance. “Lonely” is a post break-up on the rebound blues of someone looking for new love in the maybe right, maybe wrong places. “Lost Without You” is the ballad, a hurtin’ song, part break up-part make up, full of regret. The tasty guitar and vibes solos give time for the lyrics to sink in making it all the more powerful. Otis Redding and Steve Cropper could have written “You” and Etta James, Carla Thomas or Betty Lavett could have recorded it but Babe did it all on her own. Drenched in Memphis Stax/Volt R&B this is a song that could, should and might become a classic- an invitation impossible to resist. Blurred Lines ends with a road song. “Trust” is an anthem of transformation and liberation; leaving and becoming. “Say good-bye to who I used to be/Say hello to all that comes to set me free”– it is the perfect ending to a full meal deal emotional and aesthetic tour.
Blurred Lines is as fine a collection of contemporary songs for grownups as is out there – anywhere by anyone – a set of finely-cut jewels, each in a distinctive matching setting. The boundaries may be blurred in a dozen delightful ways; Babe Gurr’s vision is 20-20.
– Gary Cristall – Co-founder of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Canada Council for the Arts officer, and Capilano University Educator.
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