Beautiful Pain

The Fall Back (Independent)
Bridge 19

By Kevin Gibson

In his song, "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow," Ray Stevens tells the subject of the song, "No one knows how to suffer quite like you."

Bridge 19 may know a bit about that. On The Fall Back, the singer-songwriter tandem of Audrey Cecil and Amanda Lucas present 13 songs filled with all sorts of raw emotion, some of them quite heavy. That's not to say this album is a downer, though in fact, it is a beautifully crafted album that carries the listener through quite a number of feelings.

Lucas and Cecil have woven a piece from varying textures as well; from the catchy pop of "Low Down" to the Americana of "One at a Time" to the sweet folk of "Cabin Song," there are enough musical bends in the road that the listener is assured of never getting bored.

One of the high points of the album as a whole is listening to Cecil and Lucas sing together both are excellent singers, but putting their voices together in harmony really does create a sum greater than the two parts.

Oh, but those heart-wrenching stories. Pretty much every lyric explores some sort of loss or difficult emotion. In the aforementioned "Cabin Song," the lyric sets up a beautiful scene in a serene atmosphere, but deals with a protagonist who is lamenting alienating someone and not understanding how or why.

This kind of sadness becomes an interesting juxtaposition the farther you get into the album, because the melodies and vocals are so lovely. The music provides a sort of aural sense of hope in the darkness of the sad songs. Probably the best example of this is the last track it's a bouncy, smile-inducing song about a love affair, and it's titled … "Match Made in Hell."

It doesn't hurt at all that the record was produced and mixed so deftly, and it also doesn't hurt that Bridge 19 had a talented supporting cast in Ric Hordinski Jeremy Rice, Peter Searcy and others. From start to finish, the entire project was quite well orchestrated.

Well done, ladies. Now, excuse me while I go cry myself to sleep.

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Bridge 19 will celebrate with a release party May 12 at Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.