Under Review: Butterfly Boucher – Scary Fragile

When Butterfly Boucher debuted in 2003 with the wonderfully-titled Flutterby, many people took notice, if only for her name.  With a voice somewhere between the melodic snap of Lily Allen’s and the thick brogue of Richard Thompson’s (only Australian), Boucher landed a few soundtrack slots before retreating to record a follow up.  Years went by and that follow up never came, apparently due to some squabbling on the part of her label, Geffen Records.  The original version of what became Scary Fragile was finished by 2006, but was found to be too “American-sounding.”  Indeed, a good portion of the album’s songs are upbeat, hooky, and contain throwaway stories of love and other crimes.  A contract-free Boucher eventually redid the album herself, and released many songs (including ones that were left off the album) on her MySpace page, whatever that is.  Seeing as how parts were deemed too much for British audiences, Scary Fragile plays like a few different albums.  The Triple A-approved tracks like “Gun For A Tongue” and “Keeper” aren’t bad, they just don’t take as big a leap forward as a record that took 6 years to surface should.  Songs that bounce between dynamics, like “To Feel Love” (with its “Another Brick In The Wall” guitar rattle) and “They Say You Grow Up” break the mold with enough force to set Scary Fragile apart from its predecessor.  However, slower, sparser songs like “A Bitter Song” and the title track indicate that Scary Fragile might at one point have been a much darker album.  That album would have been much better, but goodness knows how much longer we would’ve had to wait for it.

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~ by E. on September 14, 2009.

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