Fractography is defined as a science in which one studies fracture materials. It studies why buildings and architecture fail. Looking at the just the raw letters, though, Fractography is a fitting name for this album.
When I first saw the word I immediately thought of fragmentation, and that’s definitely something that Vancouver musician Alicia Hansen does. It’s difficult to neatly categorize this music as it literally goes all over the place.
If I had to put a genre on it I would have to say “experimental” although that’s a pretty broad term. There’s just so much to take note of here- the mad piano riffs, guitar solos and marching-band drums are just a part of it.
The album opener “Under Hypnosis” will grab your attention right out of the gate. It begins ominously with some keys and a pounding drum. Whenever Hansen sings, the music halts as if by accident. It’s jarring, and this is definitely what Hansen is going for here.
This album is very similar to a descent into madness. There are songs that seem to be general piano ballads but they quickly morph into songs that can border on terrifying. “If You Asked Me” is a good example of this, in which Hansen repeats “If you just asked me” numerous times throughout the song and gets progressively louder, almost as though she is accusing the listener of something.
It’s a truly wonderful and strange album that Alicia Hansen has put together. It’s an album that is much easier to hear than describe accurately.
Top Tracks: “Under Hypnosis”; “Poison Tree”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)