Gena Rose Bruce
Can’t Make You Love Me
Dot Dash Recordings
The Cathartic Sound of a Broken Heart Slowly Healing
It’s been a while since my trusty I-Phone unearthed a diamond from my collection on it; but on Monday night as I drove home from work, in the darkness a whispery and velvety voice filtered out of the car stereo and any angst I was feeling almost immediatly dissipated.
Gena Rose Bruce? No, me neither and I couldn’t even remember receiving the album; which is becoming less of a surprise the older I get!
So, the next morning I hunted it out and now it’s been on ‘heavy rotation’ for three days solid.
There’s a bit of an electro-pop vibe to opening track The Way You Make Love; but that’s quickly forgiven as Gena Rose Bruce’s breathy voice is all consuming; as are her lyrics; which are part wistful and part bitter as she remembers her ex-lover, in the most descriptive way (note: never upset a songwriter).
Track #2 Coming Down; is more RMHQ Friendly with an acoustic guitar, militaristic drum patterns and an industrial strength bass combining to force Gena’s story straight into your brain ….. and never leave.
As an eclectic music fan; I’ve really enjoyed this collection of love (and loss) songs; but without sounding sexist, the demographic will primarily be young women who are looking for solace in the words of someone who ‘gets them’ in such troubled times.
That said; I have falling love with Gena’s smoky voice; especially on Angel Face and Revive, both of which heavily feature that darned synth, but at this stage I’m willing to forgive the Australian songstress just about anything.
Or maybe not; as the instrumental June just sounds like someone noodling in the studio.
Apparently Gena had just broken up with a long term boyfriend when she disappeared to write and then record these songs; and that intimate introspection comes across here from start to vision, but never more so than on I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You and Rearview, which immediatly follows. Phew; this young lady is hurting …… really, really hurting. Even at my advanced age, I can still remember these feelings all to well ….. so, as I say ….. young women the world over will clutch this album to their heaving bosoms in a darkened bedroom, as they wallow in not just their own love lorn grief; but Gena Rose Bruce’s too.
It’s not been easy selecting a Favourite Track; as it’s not really that type of album; I can’t picture Gena pouring her heart out on today’s equivalent of Top of The Pops; but two songs really do sound like they could easily be Singles for radio play; on the dark and gloomy For You Gena squeezes the Hell out of the listeners heartstrings and the melody sounds like it’s destined for a David Lynch movie soundtrack.
The other is slightly more uptempo (which is relative on an album like this) and immediatly follows For You; and it’s the quaintly titled I Can’t Be That Easy; but there’s twists galore in these essential 3 and a half minutes; so I think I’m going with this as my Favourite Song on a quite exceptional album.
While I personally think the copious use of Synth here, detracts from several intimate and articulate songs; I doubt the average purchaser will agree with me; but when Ms Bruce tours these songs I presume she will use a more conventional electric keyboard; and when she does Magic will happen in intimate venues around the world.