Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham - Eclectica album review

The title says it all… delightfully eclectic

Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham - Eclectica album artwork

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Jazz to folk. Rock to funk – plus hints of classical. Yes, it’s all here on an impressively sweeping album. Doris Brendel has always refused to stand still and get pigeonholed.

Now she and longtime musical partner Lee Dunham have come up with an album where every track is different, but the overall impact is focused and charismatic. From the opening folk-tinged shards of The One, through the haunting Losing It and into the funk psychedelia of Animal, this is a well-constructed, thoughtfully evocative musical expanse. Laced with humour and vulnerability, it invites you in but also keeps you at a safe distance. Musicianship commands throughout, but it’s never allowed to overshadow the commitment to creating an artistry that’s tuneful and accessible. There are quirky moments, such as the quasi-reggae One World, however this adds to the individuality the pair always propagate so confidently. This album appeals to all who love intelligent, emotional music that also does the unexpected. Dunham’s production approach is enlightened and dynamic, allowing Brendel’s passionate vocal style to come to fruition. The songs are beautifully written with a balanced style, while the performances are inspired.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.