Style: Pop rock; compare to Michelle Branch, Sarah McLachlan, Sara Groves
Top tracks: "Betty," "Who Are We Fooling," "Something in the Water"
Slick production and a lighter tone make Brooke Fraser's third release one of the best of the year. "Betty," co-written with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, tells the story of a lonely girl hiding behind "scars and birthmarks" who can't live up to high expectations. Finger-snaps and pop confections make the secrets seem more bearable. "Who Are We Fooling" is a duet with Aqualung's Matt Hales, another artist who often struggles with the daily grind of Christian life. None of Fraser's songs are neatly bow-tied, but they point to a hope beyond earthly understanding. The music is airy, bass-driven, and varied.1