Robin H. Farren

Charmed Existence

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Robin Haag Farren's first full-length disc after emerging from one of her brother Charlie Farren's groups is a strong outing with husband Michael Haag providing intense textures behind her authoritative vocals. "Live Forever" is a magnetic undertow while "Mars Fell Into the Moon" is simply powerful music that holds the listener's attention. Bringing in elements of Stevie Nicks and Robin Lane, the band has a liquid consistency which Farren's voice glides over -- a mix of percussion and guitars that create a unique environment for her thoughts. The lyrics and hidden vocals add a mystique to this astrology-gone-awry number. "One of Many" should be a hit; it has a groove Farren takes to so many different plateaus,

pop music that she rips apart and puts back together. The power that the Pretenders put into "Brass in Pocket" that Robin Lane exuded in "When Things Go Wrong" is wrapped up in these very original tunes, "A Question of Constellations" as pioneering as Tracy Bonham and Tracy Chapman, but sounding nothing like them. This is a bold direction for an emerging artist, sounds that drive the music rather than music searching for sound. The pop format is Farren's domain; "Whiskey in the Well" and "Heidi Lies" are songs of incredible depth, self-defining lyrics over fabulous little melodies. Charmed Existence is a forceful statement by an artist with a lot on her mind. More important is the way she expresses these ideas, "Soldier of Love" with its guitars and backing vocals ends this CD much too quickly. Great stuff that sounds nothing like her brother Charlie's music.

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