Album Review by Kris Griffiths
Martha Redbone was born of Black American and American Indian ancestry, and the name ‘Redbone’ is taken from her heritage. After growing up in New York and Kentucky she moved to London where two things happened that would forge the beginning of her musical career: she had her heart broken and was introduced to producer Aaron Whitby who went on to become her songwriting partner to this day.
HOME OF THE BRAVE is a very accomplished piece of work. Martha has a truly unique and captivating voice that is fully utilised throughout this album. The opening track, VINEYARD, opens with a sample of a little girl talking and breaks into a cool little funkfest characterised by a guitar and a wah-wah pedal. The uplifting vocals are instantly reminiscent of a Tina Turner in her prime.
UNDERDOG displays some exquisite harmonies in the chorus and a toe-tapping beat that works well with the strings that swirl quietly around it. The lyrics to this song in particular point to a maturity that belies Redbone’s status in the world of music.
The instrumentation throughout the album is of a very high quality, with stabbing horns and funky guitars echoing sporadically through each tune. Redbone’s soulful vocals remain constant. High notes are reached effortlessly, as they are on the mellow groove of Track 11. Samples are also used to clever effect. The album closer opens with a police siren that segues into a gently bopping ballad with a final bout of outstanding harmonies.
There are indeed many treasures to unfold in this hidden gem of an album. Go ahead and drop in on HOME OF THE BRAVE because waiting at home is someone very special.