For fans only.
Expectation: Canadian electronic/R&B singer Jessy Lanza’s second album, following 2013’s Pull My Hair Back.
- New Ogi – A combination of dreamy synths, stuttering staccato pulses, and pleasingly syncopated claves give the album opener a unique feeling that further benefits from excellent mixing, imbuing the instrumental with plenty of room to breath. If only the rest of the album was anything like this.
- VV Violence – An upbeat track that juxtaposes funky synths with a carefree vocal delivery to create a light, breezy vibe throughout.
- Never Enough – What you hear on the track is fine, but like the hook says, its not enough. Most of the song is excessively sparse, and the endless repetition of the hook drives home just how little is happening.
- I Talk BB – When Lanza finally fills the space in her songs, they sound great, even if that additional sound is just echoing vocals. The bolder melody works in the song’s favor, and the various effects on Lanza’s voice give it an effect that almost resembles a slow, soulful guitar solo.
- Going Somewhere – The flickering percussion is grating at times, but generally goes over well, and the song structure lends itself perfectly to a slow build of tension that is relieved whenever the keys re-enter. Unfortunately, the melody here just isn’t interesting.
- It Means I Love You – The kind of track that is a guaranteed home run for a festival crowd, but just isn’t meant for any other context. Its not bad, but its a weird choice to include such a long beat break on the album version.
- Vivica – Despite the sparse instrumentals, the production shows next to restraint in its percussion, filling the track with pounding, busy drums that are entirely too high in the mix. The moments when the synths enter and the track sounds like a complete song for a moment are great, but end in sudden and frustrating disappointment.
- Oh No – At least the title track is good. Even if the drumming is still entirely too cluttered, there’s enough going on to cover it up. The latter half of the track is fun, too, even if it probably should have ended without another vocal refrain.
- Could Be U – Not bad.
Overall: Its not good. The melodies are bland and repetitive, Lanza’s vocal performances are mediocre at best, and the drum programming is God awful. I might suggest that the album could be better if all percussion were outright removed, but at times that would mean there would be practically nothing left. The best sounds you’ll hear on the album are the synths, which are just run-of-the-mill synths. This album sounds like Grimes minus everything that makes Grimes good. I was reminded of Tinashe just because the last time I heard melodies this redundant was Nightride. However, the most fitting equivalent that came to me was Francis and the Lights: like Francis, it is clear that Lanza has plenty of ideas and is probably a great person to have in the studio to give a track that extra spark. However, she also seems to have no grasp of how to make a good song on her own.