By Charlie Englar
On the inside and back covers of Wendy Woo’s new album lies a dictionary definition to the title, Austerity; “extreme simplicity / markedly simple / antonym: luxury.”
With her ninth album, Woo, along with the help of her full band, has created a tight and taught collection of wide-ranging songs that go from pop rock to funk to acoustic-ballad and more. All of which create a feeling of Austerity on both a tangible and non-tangible level.
Though the songs may reflect a feeling of musical simplicity, the making of the album and inspiration behind it manifest from the multitude of real-moment actualities.
Because of babies and the generalness of life, the making of Austerity happened by each member doing parts from their homes. Not being in one room at the same time did nothing to take away from the strength and cohesiveness of the album, however.
The major theme of the album is displayed well in the catchy opening-track “Stuck In My Head,” with Woo longingly expressing “Sorry for the things that I have done to you / I never meant to bring it all down.”
“Where have you been,” as contrast, is an absolutely beautiful song of redemption and re-birth. The stripped down tune has marvelous, chill-inducing vocals accompanied by a melancholy and melodic piano.
Together as a whole, The Wendy Woo Band has taken their musical and personal experiences, molded, melded and shaped them, and placed them nicely in the open for all to see.