Before & After
Simply titled 'Before and After' this is the much overdue announcement that Fonda Feingold, perhaps the closest creation we have to a female Stevie Wonder, is back with a vengeance. Fonda is one of those artists who must have been at the front of the line when God was doling out talents. She writes; she plays; she sings; but most importantly, she has a deeply-rooted feel for life, so movingly expressed through her poetic lyrics, unique vocal styling and phrasing. I first heard this unforgettable voice years ago and knew immediately it had to be shared with the world. Her original songs are filled with phrases that raise goosebumps with their simple beauty. 'Before and After,' opens with a Latin feel and sets the tone for this collection of original songs, all written by Fonda. The title song tells the tale of a broken heart viewed through the lens of a camera; there's the lament, ('Love You Should've Stayed') that love skipped out long before one was ready to say goodbye; a bluesy you-done-me-wrong song ('No Trouble At All'); an apologetic plea for forgiveness (I Was Wrong'); not letting reality ruin the remembrance of an old lost love ('I Still Think About You'); and a country love song ('Show Me How Love Goes') that would be at home on any country artist's CD. 'Both Sides of the Gun' is an eye-opening observation about two people involved in a shooting/murder. Feingold was moved to write this after a family member was indiscriminately killed in a car theft. The words hit home because everyone knows someone... 'Angels of Eighth Avenue' and 'Goodnight New York' were inspired by Fonda's years in New York City. 'Angels' focuses on the Eighth Avenue streetwalkers who risk limb and life for a few bucks, and are seldom mourned when tragedy steps in. And 'Goodnight New York' came out of Christmas 2001, but it's as current today as it was then: 'Another Christmas, another never silent night'. But the song that let's us into Feingold's inner sanctum is - not at all surprising -- 'Music Is the Medicine.' Clearly and succinctly she attributes music with saving her, curing her, giving her cause to go on. It's her own personal 'moonbeams and butterflies' and it's a salve for many a hurting heart, too. Listen to this CD; then listen again. If you don't feel a personal connection, then drop by the nearest dentist's office, close your eyes and listen to the mundane. This CD is not for you. Joe Litsch, longtime entertainment columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:.