This six-song, 22-minute debut from local singer-songwriter Holly Cole proceeds much as you might expect from a woman who counts Cat Power and Aimee Mann among her faves: It's emotional but low-key, with an acoustic foundation given musical color by plenty of accents (such as the cello on the lead cut). Sometimes Cole's songs get lost in the atmosphere, but her fetching voice breaks through as the record progresses, climaxing on the charming reverie "Our Pure Hearts" and bidding adieu with a twang on the country "Turtle Dove," which has a nimble feel that nicely contrasts with the more moody sound of the earlier songs. ("Returned Love") -- CH
Holly Cole plays a CD-release party for Fearless & Free Thursday, August 24th, at the Hi-Tone Café. Doors open at 9 p.m.; admission is $5.