Only a seasoned lyricist like Rochester’s Danielle Ponder can slip in what’s good for their listener, letting fly amidst the hurricane wordplay like “Queendom come” and letting them untwist freely and unravel to preach love, to preach revolution. And it’s without a shred of shrift or drama as well. The intensity is there. There’s no way to get out of its way.
Only someone with the smarts and know-how of an artist like Ponder can give you a ticket to ride. She has polished the music on her new eight-song album, “Some of Us Are Brave,” to a slick soul shine and groove. It’s a sensational release that comes off as a sensuous lullabye that conversely wakes the baby.
“I’ll show you how,” Ponder says, with frustration and hot tears for the continued work yet ahead welling in her voice. She continues with resolve: “Hear me now, I’m loud and proud.”
Every tune is wrung out to its core like fight anthems shouted in hopes of some relief, relief that comes through Ponder’s velvet hammer of polyrhythmic glee. Lying at the end of “Some of Us Are Brave” is the cut “Darker than Blue,” with its B3 moan and background focus threatening to overturn the whole mash.
It’s f***ing beautiful. It’s the best thing she’s ever done. It’ll leave you raw. You’d be best to recognize, to honor the Queen Ponder is going to be. Let’s leave it to Ponder’s words.
“My peace is a gift to you.”
Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On