Brooke Moriber – “Fire”
Brooke Moriber, a product of the traditionally intensely creative Greenwich Village section of New York City, will command attention with her debut effort. The title song from her forthcoming EP, “Fire”, is very much in keeping with Moriber’s much acclaimed musical theater career. She hasn’t come to this in the typical way. While it is obvious that performing has been Moriber’s abiding love, she initially carved out a niche for herself on Broadway stages. Her seven Broadway productions intimately acquainted her with ample technique and, most importantly, the knowledge of how to integrate technique with humanity. While the spiraling, quasi-orchestral structure of pop ballads often discourages subtlety in favor of musical pyrotechnics, Moriber’s debut effort manages to include both elements and make supreme use of them. She came to this when she felt ready and anyone deciding to listen to “Fire” will quickly concur.
Pop songwriting often eschews musical complexity in an effort to focus more of the listener’s attention on the true star – its singer. While there’s no question that Moriber’s amazing voice is the heart of “Fire”, Moriber and her cohorts have never neglected crafting a musical experience every bit as comparable. The surprisingly dense mix of piano, drums, and keyboards is punctuated by random guitars. The piano and drums are the song’s prime movers, but the keyboards and guitar provide ample color that gives the song a tone of real grandeur. The ability to transmute the superficially mundane details of personal life into something resonate, even universal, requires that the music and performer find balance and move in lockstep towards a strong ending. Moriber gives us that here. She is an important part of this performance rather than its sole merit.
Her high point comes, perhaps unsurprisingly, with a drama-packed chorus that moves the cut to a higher gear. The double tracked vocals further enhance her soaring vocal quality and the arrangement whips up an added level of drama. Guitars close each chorus with some notable chords and the picking has a clear snap that energizes the conclusion of each refrain. The chorus further illustrates the song’s overall strengths with its marvelous construction. Every bar of “Fire” has that same solid structure – things come when you expect them and the verse tension returns the listener’s attention with stirring climaxes.
Brooke Moriber is on her way. While the vast majority of the pop world might be mastered by steamy barely pre-pubescent blondes with a virtual army of collaborators propping up their lack of creativity, Moriber is aiming for something more. This is music intended to stand and last, not merely some good time piece of fluff destined to be forgotten five minutes after the song ends. “Fire” is a living, breathing work of musical art from a creative force nearing the peak of her powers.