Wings Uncaged is a musical Pauline epistle of freedom for the sake of freedom. And it is a Jeremiad on freedom in the Age of Trumpism.
In her previous albums, Aimée Allen sang in sweet, sometimes sultry, tones of love and longing. In an era when sweetness is in danger of being trampled by savagery, Aimée responds with unquestionable force, and subtle wit, and divine beauty.
As ever, François Moutin’s bass work and his compositional contributions is peerless. He deftly navigates the determined shift to proclamation in partnership with Kush Abadey on drums and Billy Test on piano. They provide the punch to Aimée’s oracles. They are the Greek chorus in Aimée’s drama.
With beautiful covers interspersed, even those are transformed into revelations of emancipation and self-determination. Listen for it. You will hear it. However, it is those magnificent, sometimes prescient, originals of hers that make every Aimée Allen album a marvel.
Touch the Sun rejoices in the Icarusian liberty of cooperative flight. It is what the camaraderie of boundlessness should be, as we reach possibilities together. While Shooting Star warns of the recklessness possible in freedom. Aimée sings, “And everybody knows you/Can’t keep a moth from flame/Though you may call his name/To fire he goes.”
Night Owl speaks of the wisdom in disenthralment and the responsibilities of autonomy.
At the end of the day, it's one thing to have wings but it’s quite another to be uncaged. But it is so easy to lose that freedom. Freedom that is so tenuous, so fragile, and so very charming with its inevitable, irresistible, seducing complacency.
In My Web sees Aimée’s switch of perspective to the view of that which robs us of our freedom. Democracy How is the warning—not preachy but prophetic.
The music is mesmerizing, enlightening, and always an exercise in rare beauty. Her vocals penetrate the heart and quicken the soul. Test, Moutin, and Abadey never supplant; they truly support.
With it all, Aimée sings a psalmist’s subtle caveat: A gilded cage is still a cage.
~Travis Rogers, Jr is the Jazz Owl