Daughter of Double-Dare


The Record

(Canada’s Weekly Music Business Newspaper)


Daughter of Double-Dare–A second album from a Saskatoon singer-songwriter is a unique collection of songs and spoken-word interludes (or, perhaps, vice-versa). This thoughtful, tasty smorgasbord consists of five “chapters,” with three or four pieces in each — songs covering politics (in the broadest sense of the word), the music business (If I Was Madonna is a hoot), and loves not taken advantage of (Barcelona Bridge).If the word “feminist” is a positive one in your lexicon, this wry, witty, intelligent record is for you. And for truly alternative programmers.

*** (of 4)

RPM Chart Weekly

March 14, 1994

Review by Walt Grealis

Brenda Baker/Radical Pop

Daughter of Double-Dare

A Saskatoon playwright, fiction writer, singer, poet, musician and children’s entertainer, Brenda Baker leaves everything to the imagination with this powerful, eclectic excursion into her own musical world. Grouped in five chapters: Drawing the Line, Playing With Cupid, Nobody’s Little Girl, A Woman Driven, and Dancing in Cages, Baker’s vocal integrity eases the listener into various compromising situations, all of which create acceptable niches for ear entertainment. Baker appears to revel in risk, alternating from cutting and chancy lyrics to a distinct inner vocal warmth that demands attention. Musical theatre comes instantly to mind. This is obviously an album that was conceived from an understanding of all music genres, from rock and folk, to what she describes as “chat rap.” This Room was taken as the first single, a track that showcases the guitar work of Jack Semple (formerly of the The Lincolns and more recently a principal in Guitar Man, a Super Channel Movie), and producer Rob Bryanton on keyboards. Man of My Dreams will be the follow-up. The F-Word is a clever little piece about feminism. Keeping it on the straight and narrow, Baker has more than a couple of gems here, including What We’re Capable Of, Barcelona Bridge, and Songwriters in Love. It’s obvious that Baker has embarked on a double-dare journey with this Rob Bryanton production which was recorded at CBC Radio Saskatchewan and Regina’s Inner City Sound Studios.

Sing Out! Magazine

Volume 39, Number 3 – November 1994

Review by Richard Warr

Brenda Baker

Daughter of Double-Dare

Wow! Zap! Pow! This is like no other recording you’ll ever own. It’s a mixture of what Brenda Baker calls chat-rap (what I call poetry), more conventional rap, folk-style songs and rock. The back of the ample CD booklet lists “alternative listening paths” (ALPs) — groupings of similar tracks for listeners put off by one or more categories. Pretty clever on Baker’s part. Whether or not you subscribe to Baker’s artistic conception, it’s highly original, extremely intelligent and dramatically performed with strong production. She weaves her feminist conviction and political views into this unusual tapestry. Baker’s mature, strong voice turns an occasional edge. The title poem tells a disturbing, role-reversal morality tale straight from some recent Hollywood hits. The songs range from dreamy ballads to upbeat dances, from human rights to personal affairs. Baker pens all the lyrics, and frequently collaborates on the melodies. DUCT, an ensemble of Saskatoon artists, provides improvised musical bridges and accompaniment, as do a dozen other accompanists throughout the work. So if you buy this recording expecting standard singer-songwriter fare, forget it. If you’re looking for creativity and excitement, go for Baker’s double-dare.

Words & Music

June 1994

If Laurie Anderson and Michelle Shocked pooled their resources to write a feminist musical odyssey they’d likely come up with something akin to Daughter of Double-Dare, a confounding 70-minute musical suite/story that’s wacky, gritty and marvelously inventive. Saskatoon’s Brenda Baker is an eccentric who does it all from spoken-word rants and comic riffs to clever musical vignettes.

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