The Syncopated Times has reviewed more Champian Fulton albums than I can readily count, likely more than any other artist, which is an indication of how prolifically she has taken to the studio in her still young career. She has been equally busy playing around New York and touring to major cities around the globe. For someone so driven the restrictions of the last year and a half must have hit especially hard.
If something distinguishes this album it is that it is a much more emotionally somber set than her other work. Appearing live before a café or concert hall audience calls for a different tone than a remote broadcast to people sharing your experience of being trapped at home. She catches that distinct mixture of sentimental hope and bitterness, in both the choice of titles and delivery. The album feels like a phone call from an old friend, the kind that can shake you back into equilibrium. It is no wonder her Live From Lockdown broadcasts drew in so many fans.
She is joined at her piano by her father Stephen Fulton, on trumpet and fluegelhorn. A noted musician in his own right, his name was usually in the first paragraph of every story about her, though at some point that may have switched! When lockdown hit the pair started a regular live stream session on Sunday nights, the greatest hits of which were collected for this album.
The 12 titles include, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”, “Look for the Silver Lining”, “You’ve Changed”, “I Had the Craziest Dream”, and “Pass the Hat”, quintessential lockdown picks! With every album I become more impressed with her nuanced vocals, and her always just right piano playing, but the time at home working over these titles seems to have brought both up another level. There is a maturity and timelessness to this album, and it shouldn’t be dismissed as a lockdown era effort. Have no fear about the recording quality, it is as top notch as any studio album. Champian wouldn’t have it any other way.