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CD Reviews: Libbie Schrader
Libbie Schrader: Taking the Fall
June 2005
By: Marco Nieves
album cover of Libbie Schrader's Taking the Fall

A musician's "mid-term" is their crucial sophomore album. It is not a conclusive grading, as it only paves the way for the fans to get reminded and refreshed, and gives the chance for new ones to embrace an artist they find so interesting that they need to get their first endeavor and keep up with future ones. In her second album, Taking the Fall, Libbie Schrader is assuredly passing the test with a perfect score. The style of it is steadily quirky and spunky and teeters between mainstream pop (A Long Day) and vivacious country (Sweet When You Wanna Be). Her debut Letters to Boys now seems like her baby-steps towards a settled approach that really lets her thoughts erupt with unlimited satisfaction, giving her the freedom to enjoy her music as much as the listener has the boon to get wrapped in the album.

Songwriting is the skeleton behind everything that makes the album of the year, the hit of the century or simply that one beautiful song that mercilessly captures your soul. As I mentioned in my previous review for Letter to Boys, Libbie is a master at writing songs that cover every aspect of our heart's quests. Whether it is following your instincts no matter the odds, loving utterly even when the likelihood of being accepted is bleak or living to admire the lesson behind the bruise, she's masterful when it comes to creating an incredibly indelible melody out of all of it with intrinsic ease. Libbie is also endowed with a voice, sometimes plaintive and often piquant, that is attractive for its familiarity, a comforting sound for those who strive for commiserating and encouragement. Like a best friend that confesses how every cranny in her chest hurts with so much love, or shouting about overwhelming woe, or simply whispering a silly secret in your ear, you just understand that these feelings are everything we will ever truly own.

Anchors down. Why find an alcove to protect you from bad weather when it's the tempests that make you feel more alive? So many ways to go / And you never left your home / The world is what you make it / And now you're good. (Now You're Good)