Picks and Pans Review: Fiona
The New Jersey-born Fiona Flanagan, 24, seems to be here to remind us of something. True, Pat Benatar was harsh and successful. True, Cyndi Lauper was screechy and successful. That, however, doesn't automatically mean that a woman rock singer can be an instant hit just by being harsh and screechy. Fiona is also a reminder of how much performance dynamics matter to such punky-sexy young ladies as herself. What works live and on videotape may not work when the visuals are removed. Behind all the flash, Fiona does have some kind of musical heart. When she brakes her accelerated pace a little, as she does on Love Makes You Blind, a little feeling even creeps in, which is a welcome relief from the aural hammering. This debut album at least grabs your attention; most people who hear it will want to listen to Fiona again. They will also know enough to prepare for Fiona's decibel level, perhaps by insulating the old ears with a light layer of cotton. (Atlantic)
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