Norine Braun is a singer/songwriter hailing from Vancouver who is already very established and has won several awards in a long and successful career. Her music is an eclectic blend of blues, rock, soul and jazz which she has performed worldwide at festivals and elsewhere to both critical and public acclaim. With a lengthy back catalogue behind her she is now releasing her eleventh album Kind of Blues, with No More Reprise as the lead-off track.
The song grabs the listener’s attention from the very start with a warm, rootsy sound based around a funky drum groove, catchy bassline, slick wah-wah drenched guitar and wailing, bluesy harmonica. Norine soon enters the fray with a distinctive and authentic vocal style, mildly reminiscent of Arethra Franklin albeit with a lighter tone.
The lyrics depict a relationship that has hit the rocks owing to her partner being a good-for-nothing, the protagonist having reached her wit’s end with them: “No more sleeping in this bed, no more tears about you shed…”. The acerbic lyrical style fits perfectly with the strident mood of the music, which follows the traditional pattern of twelve bar blues. There is no obvious chorus as you’d find in standard pop, but the song is so catchy throughout that you soon find yourself singing along. After the second verse, there is a concise, effective guitar solo performed with a Hendrix-esque tone and some nice harmonica licks in the last verse to keep the listener gripped to the end.
Overall, this is a fresh, funky and highly enjoyable piece of modern blues written and performed by a versatile and mercurial talent. For those who appreciate music with heart and soul and who are looking for undiscovered gems outside the banal mainstream, look no further than the music of Norine Braun.
VERDICT: 8.9 out of 10