For most aspiring vocalists, the audition process can be edifying, even through the grueling times, knowing that hard work will eventually pay recording contract dividends. Yet, sometimes the most determined vocalists who are searching for that major breakthrough end eventually up surrendering the dream that might have been. RoseMary Fiki had walked that relentless audition road riddled with countless rejections. But her determination to beat those past rejections strongly worked in her favor. This multi-faceted singer/songwriter wisely regrouped and invested time in the studio to shape her unique musical destiny. Fiki’s willingness to overcome the frustrating past turned into a chance encounter with other musicians. Those collaborations would turn out to be the definite breakthrough resulting in her debut recording.
The RoseMary Fiki EP echoes a wide range of textures with mixed results, mostly propelled with Fiki’s soulfully explosive voice that undoubtedly hits the listening senses. The first single, “It’s Official,” delivers a shot of ‘60s soul from the strings to the heavenly female backgrounds, driven by a hip-hop percussive backdrop. On the other hand, “Lost #1” combines stilted electronic pop with Spreague-Ezie’s lackadaisical rap: “She thinks she’s playing along/He knows she’s playing along.” Shades of the Minneapolis Sound surround “Ooh,” where Fiki is right at home expressing ecstasy. However, Fiki’s volcanic attack on “Come to Me” gets watered down and tripped up by garage rock guitars. Fiki plays it vocally smart in a vulnerable way utilizing only an acoustic guitar throughout “Play Nice”: “So now you’re running away/I really want you to stay/So I’m cursing your name/I know you think I’m insane.” But, Fiki’s coy and sensual come-on’s on “Mission Impossible” (unrelated to the TV show), one incorporating a staccato adventure-type soundtrack, ends up sounding quite cheesy.
One thing that stands out prominently on Fiki’s self-titled EP is how she unashamedly struts to the beat of different drummers. Where Fitz can best refine her artistry is by focusing on musical flavors that favor her raw passionate heart. Those challenges aside, one gives Fitz credit for bucking audition rejections to realize her dreams this far.
Other Notable Tracks: “Summer Winter”
Vocals: 2.5 stars
Music: 2.5 stars
Lyrics: 2.5 stars
Production: 2.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Moderately Recommended
By Peggy Oliver