In Good Time
When I first popped it in, my iTunes player categorized Annie Fitzgerald’s album In Good Time as country. As I began listening, I found this to be wholly misleading. As a matter of fact, I was unable to categorize her music as any one genre. A little bit folk, a little bit pop, this thoughtfully produced album is a gem. Fitzgerald has managed to create new music with a message that is thoroughly original by today’s musical standards. The lyrics, all written by Fitzgerald in collaboration with her colleagues, are unpolluted with the synthetic and wholly superficial mess heard in most songs today. It was a joy to hear someone deviate from the norm.
In “Watching the World Go By,” the static accompaniment creates a tight but quickly oscillating pattern that results in an airy sound. The counter phrase in the piano and her sweet melodic line create a calm, sunny piece that evokes sitting on a grassy country hill near train tracks. Here, her theme is one of a yearning for wholeness, a theme that is also reflected in the song “How Long.” True, “How Long” is a bit too poppy for my tastes, but her hopeful lyrics are a breath of fresh air.
A second, very important theme in this album is one of family. Perhaps the most beautiful example of this is the track “Brother,” a loving, lilting ode to a little brother. The simple voice and guitar arrangement of this piece showcase Fitzgerald’s voice, which is heartfelt and light. She moves around a melody with fluidity and grace. The sweet “Old Souvenirs” tells the tale of a long-gone female relative who remains in her life through an old photograph. The simple piano intro, like many of the keyboard licks on this album, is succinct and catchy.
Perhaps my favorite piece on the album is “Kaleidoscope,” a reflective lyric about purpose and one’s sense of self. A dominant and haunting piano line along with ethereal electronic effects drew me in. This accompaniment was similar to “Watching the World Go By,” but the addition of the unexpected changes and almost totemic bass drum pick-ups left a question at the end of each phrase and kept me addicted. The highly visual lyrics, akin to Verlaine’s symbolist verse, create an image as fluid and lovely as the music.
In Good Time, Annie’s first full length album, is a creative accomplishment.