Whether she fancies herself as some sort of femme fatale, an heiress apparent to Amy Winehouse sans the decadence and indulgence, or a modern day chanteuse given her spit and sass, Fiona Silver clearly demands immediate attention. Her perky pop persona brings obvious comparisons to any number of iconic role models, be it Blondie, Ronnie Spector or the Runaways, especially given the fact that her music has as much to do with attitude as they do with aptitude. Take as an example the goth-like noir of “Smoking Gun,” a song that finds her in a slow burn that makes her sound like something akin to an incendiary siren.
Given Silver’s mastery of mood, it would be all too easy to see Silver as simply a vixen whose irreverent attitude and confidence might accelerate her grasping of the spotlight. Still, image isn’t everything, and while she seems intent on shifting her stance from twilight crooner to diehard diva to artistic dynamo, she effectively meshes those personas and reflects the traits of each. The fact that Little Thunder is only seven songs long doesn’t leave lots of room to extend her range much further, but that’s okay for now. Why should she play all her cards on her first hand when limited exposure suffices to start?
Consequently, any attempt to typecast Silver isn’t quite as simple as it might seem. She’s brash and beguiling, so full of personality, that comparisons become unnecessary. Likewise, she doesn’t appear to be the type to don a suit made of meat or suspend herself from the scaffolding simply to get attention. She may smolder, but the photos that grace her album cover suggest she’s far more demure to simply flaunt her sexuality. Her leopard skin pillbox hat doesn’t seem nearly large enough to conceal a beehive hairdo, and if she doesn’t exactly exude innocence, she’s no leather clad punkette either. The saunter and sway that marks “Keep It Fresh” is effectively at odds with the perky and propulsive New Wave noir of “Housewife.” The teasingly seductive “I’ll Follow You” blunts the insistent pacing of “Sick of Being Good.”
It’s her vintage appeal that underscores it all. It’s too bad then that Phil Spector has so much more time left to serve in the slammer. Given her ample retro references, having him behind the boards would create a perfect fit.