Album Review: Fragile Animal

Randi Russo springs forth on her third album Fragile Animal (out March 29). While you may not be aware of her music, the singer/songwriter is no new-comer.  Sharing bills with the likes of Regina Spektor, Nicole Atkins, Kimya Dawson, The White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic and more, Russo has been making a name for herself in the NYC indie scene since the release of her debut album Solar Bipolar. On April 17th Russo shares a bill with The Oxygen Ponies and Less the Band, for her album release party.

Fans nostalgic for the styling of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey are sure to find a rapport in Russo’s music. An all encompassing artist, Randi is not just a singer but a writer and illustrator as well (she designed all the artwork on the album). An emotionally and politically charged account, Fragile Animal “gives a feeling of empowerment to those who live on the fringe.”

On the gritty “Head High,” a song about immigration, Russo seethes “you do all the work while they make the money.” Addressing her personal battles on the raw and honest “Get Me Over” “Hurt Me Now” and “Invitation,” Russo delivers candid songwriting that rivals Adele’s 21.  Licking her wounds over a broken relationship on “Hurt Me Now” she sings “I knew it would kill me when you turned against me/Oh but maybe it all was just a friendship for show.”

Addressing her vulnerable approach in an interview with Alright, I’m Wrong, Russo says “Art should always be authentic, fearless, and have the ability to tap into universals while addressing the particulars. This is what I try to do.”

On the closer “Restless Raga” Russo ends on a high note. Finding her inner strength she cries “I’m more free than I ever was.”

Perhaps this feral animal isn’t so fragile after-all.

A free download of the dreamy/hazy Get Me Over is available on ReverbNation

Fragile Animal marks Russo’s third studio album. Inciting Oxygen Ponies’ Paul Megna to step into the production ring, the resulting record is lush with layers of guitars, backwards tracks, keyboard beds and thick harmonium drones.

See her live at the Mercury Lounge April 17th for her album release party with The Oxygen Ponies and Less the Band.

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