A Fine Frenzy | One Cell in the Sea

Virgin (2009)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 24, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars
A Fine Frenzy is 22-year-old Alison Sudol, an LA-based piano-pop prodigy who’s probably never heard a Fiona Apple song she didn’t love.

One Cell in the Sea is her debut, and though it’s a well-played, handsomely arranged affair — the sort of high-gloss major-label bow that will become a rarity in the coming years if the record industry doesn’t figure out a way to start making money again — only a handful of its 14 tracks live up to Sudol’s stage name.

In “You Picked Me,” she channels the biochemical rush of young love by telling a lover, “You blow me away,” as twinkling guitars and pounding keyboards swell behind her. But the rest of the CD bogs down in a minor-key rut that’s the opposite of a frenzy; it’s pretty tough to get excited about “Ashes and Wine” or “Liar, Liar” if you’re not a misunderstood high-school kid given to spending Saturday nights enumerating all the instances of abuse you’ve suffered at the hands of the idiots that society calls your classmates. Sudol’s current tourmate, Brandi Carlile, makes albums that convey only a fraction of her on-stage intensity. Perhaps the same is true of A Fine Frenzy.

A Fine Frenzy + Brandi Carlile | Orpheum, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston | October 5 | 617.931.2000
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