Review: Kate Fenner’s ‘Dead Reckoning’

Album Review

Kate Fenner

By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night Amsterdam

Album Review: Kate Fenner’s Dead Reckoning-Release date January 15, 2023

Art rock or art pop is yet one of those musical genres where both reviewers and listeners tend to lump those artists and their music which are not so easy to define.

One of the reasons for that may lie in the fact that the art tag is added to music that uses one or more elements that are neither rock or pop along with those either of the two. Or both.

Canadian singer songwriter Kate Fenner and her latest album ‘Dead Reckoning’ could easily be placed under the art rock/pop banner, as Fenner is not one of your standard singer songwriters who simply sits behind her piano or acoustic guitar and sings introspective lyrics.

Like some other, big name Canadian artist, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Jane Siberry, Fenner spreads her musical palette wide, and lyrically tackles some hard themes like all the traumas we personally have to cope with.

And like all the above artists, Fenner has both the songwriting, vocal and lyrical capabilities to come up with some excellent songs that go beyond the usual singer songwriter fare.

Musically, you can find it almost all here, Americana, pop, R&B with both jazz and classical music underpinnings. To achieve that, Fenner used as wide a selection of musical backup as she could, but without overpowering either her music or lyrics.

As far as her lyrics here go, Fenner explains it:

“When my friend Mike was dying in December of 2019, I came across an Amy Hempel poem about the failure of language when faced with things like death— “

At the end, I wanted to comfort him.

But what I said was, Sing to it. The

Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.”

Essentially, with ‘Dead Reckoning,’ Kate Fenner brings us an album of both musical and lyrical sophistication and beauty.

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Ljubinko Zivkovic

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