Kimberly Freeman is probably best known as one half of One-Eyed Doll. And while Kimberly Freeman certainly is One-Eyed Doll; just as much as Jason Rufuss Sewell (“Junior”) – but One-Eyed Doll is not Kimberly Freeman. And considering Junior worked with Freeman on this record too, One-Eyed Doll is not Junior either. Secret Lullaby is testament to that.
Where One-Eyed Doll is a little rough, and quite often humour can be found within the songs – Freeman’s solo work is much more subdued. Don’t worry – in a good way. If Freeman were to just release a record that sounded like a One-Eyed Doll album, what would be the point? Secret Lullaby is quite a theatrical piece with moments – particularly “Chocolate for Blood” – that sound like they could fit perfectly within a movie soundtrack.
Secret Lullaby is an intimate album as themes of love and loss permeate the 14 tracks. The album is a mixture of soft piano melodies and Freeman’s powerful vocals, with guitars and drums coming in when they are needed, and never overstaying their welcome. Freeman and Junior know that perhaps the harder sound of One-Eyed Doll is not for everyone, and luckily this talented duo can tone it down just as well as they can turn it up to 11.
Piano leads “Amnesia” and has a contradictory upbeat tempo when placed alongside the lyrics of loss and anguish. While Secret Lullaby spends a lot of its time on the less than happy emotions we all deal with at some point in our lives – with “To Love A Soldier” tugging at the heart strings of any listener – particularly those who have loved ones that have gone to war – at times there are hints of Freeman’s playfulness found. “Cream and Sugar” follows the thoughts of a waitress dreaming and wanting more for herself. A more playful guitar sound is found here, along with a sci-fi/futuristic feel. It almost feels like it could be used in a musical, where a waitress starts day dreaming while working. We get another hint of playfulness in the piano on “The Missing Link” where it’s got quite a jazz feel, the type of song you would expect to hear in a piano bar of yesteryear.
There is a lot going on in these 14 tracks, and whether it feels like you are listening to a movie soundtrack, or Freeman’s vocals are taking you to some otherworldly place, or the themes bring a tear to your eye; Secret Lullaby is an album that will definitely leave you feeling something.