Susan Aglukark

Unsung Heroes

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Susan Aglukark's fourth studio release picks up quite nicely from her third CD, This Child (1995). During the four years Aglukark went through several personal life changes (getting married, becoming a mother, and dealing with the abuse she suffered in her childhood). These changes are reflected in the lyrics on the CD, especially coping with abuse. In that sense, this CD is much more political. As with her previous releases, she deals with being a Native Canadian and being abused in the "reserve schools," basically having her rights violated throughout her life. The artwork, the use of Native Canadian identification numbers to frame the CD booklet pages, and the statements all show the strength of this woman and her use of art to cope with the demons. She even enlisted the help of Canadian folk artist Ron Hynes to assist her on two songs, one of which, "Ghost of Cain," is a clear highlight. All of these sentiments are couched in very melodic folk/rock/dance music. The music itself is hard to categorize, but it is pleasant and often does not reflect the anger/emotions being expressed. One exception is the opening track, "One Turn Deserves Another," which has a sharp beat set to some intense music. Long time producer Chad Irschick (who has worked with Aglukark since 1992's Artic Rose) co-wrote the majority of the songs and perhaps is responsible for the more slick sound that is heard. Overall, a brave album with strong lyrics, but often the music doesn't match the energy from Aglukark herself.

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