Constance Hauman’s Falling Into Now
11th May 2016
Title: Falling Into Now
She may have collaborated with pop luminaries such as Moby but that fact that she performs opera – albeit of the more avant edge – did fill me with trepidation before this CD begun to swing into action. My worry was that her operatic delivery would heave into view like a Spanish galleon on a duck pond, totally dominating and over-riding the songs. Not so. In fact, while her vibrato does have a slight soprano canter, Hauman keeps all of that nonsense under control as she tackles these songs in a sort of symphonic-R&B manner.
Human wrote both the lyrics and the music for this piece and you can tell that she is still finding her feet. Yes, the music is big, portentous at times, theatrical certainly (of an almost Bjork-like size) but her lyrics can sometimes be pompous, sanctimonious and lacking in ideas. The prissy Dark Angel is a prime example of this with its pious, self-righteousness which ends up sounding like a pantomime from hell soundtrack.
When she clicks, though, she sounds promising. Sorry Eyes is a dead cert winner with its smooth opening. It does struggle at times with a slightly bombastic delivery but manages to keep a nice pop flavouring to the end. Just.
Broken Pearl begins in a most promising, low key, balladic, manner, striking out into a militaristic rhythm later in the track but Hauman manages to keep a lid on her need to ‘perform’ to the masses and sounds better for it.
If I could give Hauman advice for future projects it would be to back off and take the minimalist route. To remove her big personality from the music and let it out in dribs and drabs would stop the Jim Steinman/Bonnie Tyler-esque excess (any god knows we don’t want to go there again). Less is more, Connie, less is more.