LABEL…Audio & Video Labs, Inc.
YEAR…29 Feb, 2016
A Handmade Life is the latest offering from Jill Freeman on which she explores the Jungian psychology buried in fairy tales; extraordinary in conception, creation and performance she has produced an album full of superb music.
Jill Freeman is a beautifully interpretative singer with a highly expressive voice. On A Handmade Life she has surrounded herself with a host of highly accomplished musicians. The production and arrangement, by Joel Watchbrit (also Jill’s husband and a multi-instrumentalist), is both imaginative and unexpected, incorporating a vast variety of styles: Jazz, blues, pop, country and folk.
The album is bookended by The Light That Leads Me There, a song, based on The Ugly Duckling, that grabs your heart and suddenly you realise that the fairytale is an allegory for all the lost souls, for those struggling to find their place in the increasingly complex and unforgiving world we live in.
There are many standout songs, although The Nightingale is more a poem with a musical accompaniment, it’s beautiful. The full lyrics are available on jill’s website, along with all the musical credits and when you read the nightingale every word counts. Not all songwriters worry so much about the lyrics and frankly I don’t mind as long as the message gets through but on this album you feel Jill Freeman has sweated over every comma.
1. The Light That Leads Me There (Prelude) (2:00)
2. Letters from Murdertown (5:13)
3. Welcome to the Bonehouse (2:58)
4. Eyes of Fire (4:13)
5. The Inside Room (2:53)
6. No Hands (4:55)
7. Sweetheart, My Dream Is Not Over (3:33)
8. Completely Unaware (5:55)
9. Walking on Glass (4:51)
10. The Nightingale (1:39)
11. A Little Bit of Red (5:29)
12. A Handmade Life (4:08)
13. The Light That Leads Me There (6:12)