Billie Rainbird – Deep Blue (2015)

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Canadian-born singer Billie Rainbird has made quite a splash with her debut solo record. The just-released Deep Blue features production and engineering by former Toto drummer Simon Phillips, who is is almost as famous from his behind-the-boards talents as he is for his unmistakable drumming talent. As a sympathetic producer, however, he never stands in the way of Rainbird’s talents.

The opening track “Adalay” proves Billie Rainbird is a force to be reckoned with. The track starts with an eastern flair provided by the drumming of Phillips, and bassist Renee Jones. L. Shankar’s supporting vocals add a flair to the track but the real spark is Billie Rainbird. Her voice is sensual, yet forceful keenly supporting her empowering lyrics. It’s good listening.

“Get Down Get Dirty” almost seems like another artist, as the song simmers with a bluesy feel which is straight forward yet unique. Rainbird co-wrote it with Scott Petito (who’s also on guitar, keyboard and bass). Their collaboration works. “Cantik Calls” takes another musical left turn, emerging as a simmering, electric track which evokes a hot night in Bali. Deep Blue is an album of square pegs in round holes, yet it’s thoroughly entertaining.

The title track is another stand-out with Simon Phillips getting an outstanding foundation from his core band, Jeff Babko on keyboards, former Toto percussionist Chris Trujillo, Ernest Tibbs on bass, and Mike Miller and Tim Pierce on guitar. “Deep Blue” rocks with fine results. Phillips utilized his Los Angeles-based Phantom Studio to great effect, capturing every vocal and instrumental nuance.

“Move On” is as close as you get to a conventional rocker on Deep Blue, yet it hardly feels predictable as Billie Rainbird uses her vocal powers to great effect. At the conclusion of the final track, “Things I Do,” it’s clear you’ve experienced something diverse, thought provoking and memorable.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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