Bianca Rose’s album No Fear Here is not just a collection of songs. It is a masterful piece of art from start to finish with Rose trying and succeeding to conquer fear and sending the message of self love to her listeners. With everything from smooth jazz to gospel, along with testimonies and stories of others trying to combat their personal demons, it is an album that will make you sit up and take in every word that is spoken.
“I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” is a classic song that has been covered by artists but don’t let the fact that it is a cover deter you from listening. The instrumentation is light with an intricate acoustic guitar setting the stage for Rose to take one on a journey. It may seem simple at first, but Rose, with her smoky voice, updates the track. With the slight rattle of the percussion and the timeless lyrics such as “I don’t know about tomorrow/I just live from day to day,” it includes everyone of all different faiths besides it being a gospel song. Yes, Jesus is at the center of the story, but so is the singer trying to find her way in the world and Rose brings honesty and universality to a track born new again in her hands.
There are many unique aspects to this album. One is the spoken interviews with Breis and Carina in which they both respectively let their guard down and talk about fears and overcoming them. Breis talks about feeling paralyzed by believing his art isn’t perfect, stopping him from creating new material. Meanwhile Carina, a singer/songwriter who feared she wasn’t enough, candidly states that not only has she come to the conclusion that her importance doesn’t come from what work she produces but also that she is plainly enough. These stories, brief with gentle thematic background music that travels around on the album, take the spotlight away from Rose for a moment and allows the words of others to serve as example to her message of fighting fear. It is wholly unique, and while they are not actual songs on the record they are every bit as important.
“Wallpaper Painting,” is by far the most engaging tune on the LP. It has a classy jazz vibe that opens up the song and continues all the way through. With horns blazing it feels like Rose is performing the track live right in front of you. One can almost picture her singing it in a dusty underground club. Her voice is smooth and silk-like, like a most delicate blouse, but it is also a commanding vocal performance that displays the control Rose has over her voice. A plain dream to listen to, it feels like it could be in a classic black and white movie, the lyrics are also a pleasure to hear which visually paint a picture in listeners heads. “I’m painting the scenes of a life that’s splendid and sprinkled with wonder,” Rose sings and one can’t help but get swept up in the story.
The album is bookended by “No Fear Here Part One,” the first track which starts off with Rose quietly singing “How can I be afraid of the swelling tide of the hurricane when life itself is pulling me forward.” And by the end of the album on “No Fear Here Part Two,” the instrumentation is grander and louder and Rose is more in command and strong singing “I won’t be afraid.” It’s a wonderful note to end on as we see not only Rose but hopefully those listening taking a similar journey in vanquishing the fears in their lives.