|Press Reviews of Lorna's Albums|
Flowers on the Chains (2007)
The influence of Melissa Etheridge and Ani DiFranco was obvious on Bracewell's earliest work. But on her previous album, "God Forbid," and especially this new one, she's moved past those influences and into her own territory. "Flowers" is Bracewell's toughest, most provocative and most satisfying release yet.
- Curtis Ross, Tampa Tribune, Tampa Bay, Florida, June 7, 2007
BRACED FOR SUCCESS
St. Pete singer/songwriter Lorna Bracewell is a plucky and passionate performer going places -- like back to tour Europe for a third time in May. Before Bracewell does, though, she'll debut material from her compelling fourth studio album Flowers on the Chain. Unlike other 20-something acoustic-guitar-wielding women, Bracewell isn't afraid to cut loose and let her raspy pipes ride across hard-hitting arrangements fleshed out by a full band. Take, for instance, her new record's title track, a funky groove goosed with bluesy lead guitar licks and lyrics about the shortcomings of blind love, faith and patriotism. Bracewell says she admires Ani DiFranco and The Rolling Stones. It shows.
- Creative Loafing magazine (formerly Weekly Planet), Tampa Bay, Florida, February 7, 2007
God Forbid (2005)
Despite beginning her career in her teens, Lorna Bracewell never sounded like a kid. Still, there's a depth and resonance to "God Forbid" that marks this as her first truly adult album.
Her sense of economy hits a new peak on the title track, which covers political, personal and artistic statements in sharp, bold strokes. First track "When I Fall" opens with some boldly sexual imagery (I wanna move my mouth from the rim of my glass onto you) while the weight of heartache is palpable in closing track "Driving Home."
Her singing and guitar playing are tough and taut; her production is spare but spot-on: Check the trembling guitars on feminist anthem "Independence Day."
- Curtis Ross, Tampa Tribune, February 25, 2005
(St Petersburg Times)
Fans of the acoustic rocker have begun to realize that Little Lorna is all grown up. The Indian Rocks Beach-based Bracewell, who studies political science at Flagler College in St. Augustine, has matured into a powerful singer-guitarist since her start as a kid drummer in a Christian rock group.
God Forbid is the 20-year-old's third album and the title only hints at its edgy material. Bracewell tackles the issues that obsess her: gender inequality, domestic violence, sexploitation, and on a purely human level, the power of lust. Bracewell's words have never been more sublime; she's now a top-notch lyricist, able to handle heavy themes without sounding heavy-handed.
The title track finds Bracewell using her throaty alto - it's temping to say "whiskey-soaked," but she's underage! - to damn the day as an artist she would ever "sell my body to a magazine," unlike other females her age.
Bracewell's studio band adds terrific touches: occasional slide guitar, tambourine, dobro and organ. She trades the acoustic for electric and even plays drums on a few numbers such as the poppy Fall Into Me, a vibrant beach tune that should make fans of Sheryl Crow toss their manes in the sun. (The song even pays homage to Clearwater Beach!)
- Gina Vivinetto, St Petersburg Times, January 23, 2005
(Heat Beat Magazine)
It's very hard for a young performer to find a role in the contemporary music scene, without falling into one of a few prefab shapes. Choices seem to be limited to "bubblegum party queen," "country songbird," or "faux punk rocker." Newcomer Lorna Bracewell neatly sidesteps this trap with the release of "God Forbid," a collection of ten introspective and well thought out tunes that showcase her sharp writing and unique voice. Each track retains its own distinctive flavor, while never straying from the blues-rock recipe which Bracewell wields so well.
The album opens with the stomping "When I Fall," which would be at home in just about any setting, from a coffeehouse, to an arena. The chorus is an aggressive romp "Cause baby when I fall, baby when I fall… I take the world with me." Bracewell sounds like Johnette Napolitano from the 80's band Concrete Blonde, with a contemporary twist. The album is full of little sonic treats, like the organ which graces "Independence Day," a track that wouldn't be out of place on a John Mellencamp album, but for its more descriptive lyrics. "Fall Into Me" reminds of classic ZZ Top, with its relentless bassline, and bluesy guitar fills.
On the title track "God Forbid," Bracewell sings about her independence, and free thinking. "That I would believe 'em, when they tell me that I can gauge my freedom by the economy." She immediately switches gears with "Litany," a regretful look at a relationship that didn't work out. "Survive" is a song about living life "survive, there's more to me than alive… I know I will survive." The acoustic guitar arrangements of the live show are given full band treatment here, with a song like "The Best I Can" benefiting greatly from the dynamics added with the strings, and punctuated by the snare drum. "Sometimes I Dream" strays into the alt/country realm with its train beat, before "Beautiful" brings back the blues. The closing track "Driving Home" is the most poignant on the album, with the chorus "'cause I'm driving home… I'm getting too good at being alone." It's a slow rocker, and a fitting end to this cohesive album.
Overall this music sounds very familiar. Bracewell is singing songs that speak to everyone, universal themes about love and loss, and she does so in a manner that sounds immediately comfortable while still retaining an aura of freshness and today. Though a younger performer, her lyrics and vocal skills speak of wisdom beyond her years, and it's going to be interesting to see what future roads this talented artist will choose. With "God Forbid," Lorna Bracewell has defiantly taken a giant step in the right direction.
- Christian Kisala, Heat Beat Magazine, February 2005
(Music Industry Network News)
A working musician runs into a lot of talented people. While hosting a Jam at a hot Florida nightspot 5 years ago, I had the pleasure of turning over the drums to a young girl by the name of Lorna Bracewell. She was young (her parents drove her to the gig)and she was good. A few years later, I ran into her again and she had started writing songs and playing guitar. She had a demo. It was good. Then I started following her career. Her personal manager, Cliff Rice, started promoting and networking Lorna's work. And again it was good. Now, that young girl has come of musical age with her first full length, self produced CD: "God Forbid". And it is GREAT!
Lorna assembled a talented group of musicians for this production: Mick Luke: electric guitar/ Chuck Drake: Keyboards/ Jody Gray: Slide Guitar & Bass/ Jason Alfano: drums/ Jason Alfano: drums/ Adam Shoemaker: drums/Uncle Dow: Dobro.
Lorna sings, plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums.
Lorna's singing and songwriting are what set her apart and will ultimately take her to the star stage. Her singing is sweet, husky, seductive or hard, depending on the song. Her pitch is excellent and her delivery is professional. Her songs are full of what must be life lessons she has learned in her few years. Songs of joy, love gained and lost, sorrow, angst,happiness and longing are artfully woven into the fabric of the tunes. The styles range from folk to rock and have some blues and country thrown in for good measure.
All 10 songs on "God Forbid" are strong, and each invokes feelings when listened to. The rhythm,bass and drums grooves are solid, the guitar work excellent, the keyboards are smooth, and the mix and mastering are professional. To say some songs are better than others would be giving short shrift to the incredible talent that is displayed by Lorna. However, if I were asked to pick the potential hit singles, I would have to go with "Independance Day" about a woman fleeing an abusive relationship. Another strong contender for single status is the title track "God Forbid" which is a statement of a womans' freedom. The sexy "Fall into Me" is all about loving and leaving. in fact, all the songs on this CD are keepers. There are no fillers in this project.
"God Forbid" was recorded, mixed,and mastered by Pro star Studio, chief engineer Jody Gray, at St. Petersburg Florida.
I give this CD a 5 star rating. All you A&R types better take notice of this young lady and her unique talents. And don't procrastinate because whoever signs her will be in for a lucrative run. To find out all about Lorna Bracewell, just go to her website www.lornabracewell.com
- Randy Ierna, Music Industry Network News, www.mi2n.com