“I’ve got one foot in the grave
one foot on a banana peel
you can call me brave
_but I know the deal”
Those are the first four lines of the song “Game Up—Bigger Pickle” on Clare Bellino’s latest release Embarcadero Love. After listening to the album a number of times now, I find it to be like a box of chocolates—you don’t know what experience you’re going to have each time you listen, but the end result is always a delight.
Bellino’s music has been described as a cross between Suzanne Vega and David Bowie, but her sound still has its own unique quality. Bellino, who was born and raised in Paris, France and studied classical music in the Conservatory for ten years, creates music that defies genres and boundaries. There is a feeling of past, present and future in Bellino’s music; latin, jazz, pop, and rock rhythms infuse her songs with a fresh and engaging vibe.
“Tout Est Fini,” the first song on the album is sung entirely in French. While I don’t understand the lyrics, it has a catchy, rhythmic beat and the second half of the song has a chanteuse like quality to it. Listening to it, I can almost imagine myself sitting in a postwar Paris nightclub.
Bellino’s voice has a childlike quality to it, but don’t let that lull you into a state of peaceful oblivion. Her lyrics can be humorous, haunting, lyrical and surprising, but never cliché. In “Peaceful Solution,” Bellino sings “give me the heart to make peace every day, let me be part of the solution, let me be a peaceful solution, let me be a peaceful solution.” The more I listen to this CD, the more I like it, and that’s all I need to know.