Home New Music Tracy Cloud’s New Album Leaves Us ‘Spellbound’

Tracy Cloud’s New Album Leaves Us ‘Spellbound’

Tracy Cloud Spellbound album review on Right Chord Music

From earth mother to angry rock mistress and pop diva, Tracy Cloud’ “Spellbound” flashes the many cards in the singer’s deck.

Introducing Tracy Cloud

Born in Tenessee, Tracy Cloud is the owner of a unique and expressive voice. Her new release Spellbound is an impressive trip around multiple subgenres of rock and occasionally pop music exploring love and magic. Its romantic incursions revolve mostly around ill-fated affairs plagued by abandonment and deceit, but we do get a few happy endings here and there. Themes of mysticism are sprinkled all through, sometimes as metaphors for infatuation, but they can be often quite literal. And Cloud’s voice manages to marry each different soundscape, with their respective idiosyncrasies, always remaining credible.

Tracy Cloud – Spellbound

The album opener “Cannot Help Myself” sports an aggressive rock chick vibe. At its tinniest, her delivery recalls the wild screechiness of early Alanis Morissette, while the lower notes ooze a throaty Shakira-esque vibe. Her rage stems from being insanely besotted with someone who, sadly, only seems to need her every now and then to handle some… ahem… extra-official business, keeping her in the shadows. Then comes the second track “Good Enough” and ups the dramatic vibe a notch. It’s a piano-driven piece and already showcases her versatility, as she sings in an almost classical style. At the right moments, she does, however, retain a coarseness that scratches your ears just enough to give you a small taste of her suffering as she processes her earth-shattering emotional trauma.

The next track “Walk on by” takes a more radio-friendly pop-rock approach with its sweeter, albeit still guitar-heavy, melody.  Like a teenage girl, she shouts out her disappointment at being solemnly ignored by her crush. The theme of forsakenness also drives “Forevermore”, the following song. Now veering more towards 80s pop rock, her voice takes on a post-disco diva swagger as the icy, reverb-rich production recalls oldies like Sandra’s “Maria Magdalena”. The aethereal choir keeps her company as she mourns over an “eternal” love story that ends up lasting but one night.

This is where the album first takes a more mystical turn after conquering more mundane territories. On “Wizardess” she breathes life into a folk-rock tune featuring a solo that could have been lifted from a Rhapsody of Fire or Shaman oeuvre. Flutes and acoustic guitars pepper the song all through as she speaks of a mysterious sorceress hidden in the woods and feared by all. She has done Alanis and Shakira… well, now her voice is echoing the magic of late Liechtenstein gothic metal fairy Sabine Dünser.

After a series of world-class rock tunes, the album does hit a bit of a hiccup. “Invisible Man” is a more standard pop-rock tune about the pain of being forsaken by a lover. The lyrics are well crafted, though, and she makes for a pretty convincing defenceless girl devoid of all edge and/or supernatural power she was wielding before. It’s hard not to feel moved by the vulnerability with which she sings words like “I know it’s out of my hands, but could you miss me now and then?”. Not bad by any means, but it pales slightly in comparison to its predecessors.

She regains momentum, nonetheless, on the next track “True”, a late 90s pop-rock jam. The warmth of the acoustic guitars is phenomenally seductive and her high-pitched vocals manage a softness absent up to this point. Who’d have known? After so much heartbreak, she is finally indulging herself in some sweet sweet requited love. We can’t help but plunge into the lighter-than-air melody, just as she dives into the blue sea of her lover’s eyes. Well, it just has to work eventually if you give it enough tries, right? Simply an enchanting tune! However, just as you thought happiness would last forever, here comes “I’ll never get over you”. It seems like this girl can’t take a break! A simple soft rock tune, it’s a bit of a second hiccup admittedly, as it merely revisits the themes of heartbreak present in the first half with little new to offer.

At this point “Fairy Queen” comes along to effortlessly resuscitate all magic. An extraordinary country pop piece, it has her voice gliding through the notes like the wind through the fields. Mentions of honey wine, sage, thyme and glimmering jewellery, all left as offerings to the wee folk, revive the mystical tone that suits her so well. This sweet incantation gives way to perhaps the set’s biggest surprise: a funky groove! “When I hear you say it” is so contagious it’s guaranteed to make you jump from your chair immediately. Her vocals are at their smoothest, melting like hot butter as she transpires with bliss every time she hears her lover say “I love you”. Superb!

Then, we get the album-closing title-track, an eerie synthpop tune that has her awe-struck, expressing how she is the victim of some sweeping love spell. Once again, her voice takes a sharp turn towards a higher, almost shrill, zone, helping to concretise her pain.

The set’s main charm lies in Cloud’s strikingly versatile voice and its ability to journey through an array of different genres. Also, kudos to the production, which brings so many different styles to life in one single album and does it with an excellence that matches the stellar performance of our vocalist.

“The album surprises with its deft handling of genres from gothic metal through synthpop to funk-pop. Both the production and Cloud’s fantastic vocals remain convincing through out”

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Words Fernando de Oliveira Lúcio