Christine Fellows 2 Little Birds

Lovely Australian singer Christine Fellows, formerly of Ninety Nine, sounds like she's dragging a giant boulder chained to her leg. Such is the pace and effort exuded from 2 Little Birds - not primarily in the vocals, but in the sawing cello and lazy percussion that's constantly behind the beat that you wonder if she might expire from the effort by the end. It's not a bad thing, though. Instead, it lends weight to her quiet, contemplative songs, and as they slow down, so you must too. No small feat, that music that demands to be heard on its own terms or not at all is pretty powerful stuff, and 2 Little Birds certainly qualifies, particularly since it just gets better as the album goes on. There is a tendency to lean heavily on the cello accompaniment, and the combination of Fellows' falsetto and a singing saw is late night horror movie eerie, but this spooky journey is well worth getting new flashlight batteries for. (Endearing)