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Charlie Dée – Husbands And Wives
September 3, 2010

The third official studio album by Dutch singer/songwriter Charlie Dée is called “Husbands And Wives”. Her two previous releases as well as her tribute to Joni Mitchell already showed a considerable talent, both in writing and performing songs and especially in bringing across the honest emotion of music and words, regardless if the songs were her own or not.

Her debut was good, very good even, but there was still room to grow. Her sophomore album may have missed out on mainstream attention a little bit, but some of the songs on that album were very, very memorable.

And on “Husbands And Wives”, memorable can be seen as the keyword. From the first note to the last this music captivates you. Every word Dée sings is a word you can believe in. I often speak of the connection between music and emotion and that basically the two are supposed to become one. Many musicians, singer/songwriters in particular, try to achieve this, but only rare talents manage to achieve this in a way that doesn’t sound forced or sometimes even cheesy. On “Husbands And Wives”, Charlie Dée reaches that high level of honest musicality that makes you want to really listen to the songs as the songs get to you, and more often than not they can really stir something inside you. The music and the words, together, tell a story that takes you on an emotional journey.

Dée delves from personal experience and perspective when writing songs, like most great songwriters do. It takes courage to show so much of oneself, to lay bare your feelings and share them with the world. But precisely that is the reason why these songs are able to reach such a high level. They don’t just come off honest, they are honest. The emotions you hear in the music and read in the words are real and that is why you can connect to this album in a way you can only connect to a small number of albums.

Just listen to songs like the dark and fragile Have It All or the the edgy (and still quite catchy) Leaving Me or the gentle Kiss Me. The enchanting Weep For Me and the quirky Mouse In My Kitchen add to the diversity of the album without stretching it too far. The songs together make an actual album, not just a collection of songs. “Husbands And Wives” is by no means a light album, it’s an album that requires attention but once it has your attention you will stick with it and it won’t let you go until the album stops playing after the beautiful and epic closer Fragile Heart.

I’m wildly enthusiastic about this latest Charlie Dée album and I recommend it to anyone who likes to listen to honest and powerful singer/songwriter music. If you want music you can feel, music you can believe in, then this is right up your alley. With strong arrangements, powerful (and sometimes fragile) vocals and a personal connection, Charlie Dée speaks and sings from the heart on her latest release. “Husbands And Wives” is easily one of the top singer/songwriter releases of the past year.

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