Fear And Freedom, although admittedly is intensely autobiographical, chronicles something else entirely: an until-now overlooked genuine musical talent and savvy businesswoman, all wrapped up in a pop package extraordinaire. This album is Ricki-Lee, laid bare."This album is completely different from anything I've done because it has my all. My experiences are the fabric of this album. I want people to take strength from my words, from me saying I've been through this too."
And it's in tracks like the huge dancefloor-ready hits Burn It Down and Crazy, or from the self-affirming I Feel Love and Bombshell that the listener can take that inspiration. The album as a whole is clearly nothing short of a triumph for the singer - you see, Ricki-Lee decided that Fear And Freedom would be exactly the album she wanted to make, and there would be no limit to the dream of how big it could possibly be.
"The dream was massive. Beyonce, Lady Gaga and even Pink - I was looking at all the songs that inspired me, and the writers and producers that had worked on those songs, and I reached out to them... it was a big risk for me to reach out to some of the biggest writers and producers in the world, but it worked." These internationally acclaimed songwriters - who all came back with a resounding yes - include the legendary Billy Mann (producer and writer behind huge hits from Pink to Sting to Robyn), his prot g Boy Blue, Sammy Jay, and the duo behind KNS Production - you might recognise their name from Ricki Lee's huge hit Can't Touch It.
All of these co-writers were impressed by the overarching work ethic that punctuates everything Ricki-Lee does. It is one of the lesser known aspects of who the pop singer really is - the other is as Ricki-Lee the musician: singer, songwriter and creator. "Lots of people don't know that I write my own songs," says Ricki-Lee. "They think that people give me songs and I just sing them. But before I was even signed to EMI I made this album. I went away and I spent my own money and got on a plane. I had no pressure, no opinions, no one telling me what kind of album to make. No one telling me what direction I should go in, or who to work with."
This album is Ricki-Lee at her finest hour, exposed and unembellished, allowing her renewed strength to shine through - just check out the first two singles Raining Diamonds and Do It Like That.