Outside the somewhat repetitive and cliché lyrics, Bristow shows promise. Her songs are positive and upbeat and her voice has a nice spunk to it. I really liked the song "Warning Signs," which has some interesting vocal lilts, and the harmonies used in the song were done well.
Bristow has more of an opportunity to shine when her arrangements are stripped down. The song "Running" has a good spirit and passion where Bristow is the focal point. The lyics are direct and believable, and in this song Mark Punch, who provides the electric guitar for most of the tracks on Freedom, manages to have a strong, distinctive solo but doesn't drown Bristow out.
The song "River" has a well done arrangement, especially regarding the backing vocals. "Broken Girl" sounds great right at the beginning and at the bridge, when most of the arrangement disappears and is left with just her and the guitar.
Jackie Bristow tried to show what repertoire was in Freedom instead of staying with her more guitar-driven album, Crazy Love. While there are strong moments of seductive love, there are definitely moments of crazy where she shouldn't have considered the arrangements that were made in songs.
To quote her song “Broken Girl,” “I’ll speak my mind, I’ll cross the line.” Some of the lyrics felt original, but she crossed the line of taste to something that sounded really generic.
I would have loved the whole album if the songs were all like "River," where the arrangement was done correctly. I would have appreciated "Rebel in My Soul" in a different context as well.
I’d definitely suggest Crazy Love over Freedom but if you are a fan, a handful of songs like “Aotearoa” captures the same spirit as Crazy Love.