Wednesday 5 December 2012

#MixtapeMonday - Lorine Chia: Lorine

Lyrics: 2.9/ 5.0 - Production: 3.0/5.0 - Overall Score: 3.0/5.0

Review by Reesh - Get at me on Twitter - @MrReesh

Sorry, my mistake

As sunlight shivered along the valley side, fear envelopes me: night shall soon arrive, and without the light of mythical legend my plight shall be all for nought - but that's when it appeared. As clear as truth, as brilliant as wisdom itself - a unicorn by the name of Lorine. However as I neared the beast of lore, it became apparent that this was not my beast of quest, but a mere horse with a Snickers taped to its forehead.

How you guys like the descriptive start? I got the idea while eating a bagel - cinnamon, the cinnamon bagel of um, legend.

Now there was some point to that sequence, much like a unicorn, Lorine Chia has to be one of the most unique sounding artists I've reviewed, though much like a horse with a snickers on its head posing as a unicorn she is unique, but not all that great.

From what I could dig up this is her first mixtape, despite making a couple of other songs. The American singer’s vocals undeniably have a healthy dab of Amy Winehouse to them, as well as a mild sprinkle of Chrisette Mischelle, though she chooses not to push her voice like the respective artists, and lacks the silkiness of either's vocals, though sometimes she does this intentionally. The result is a vocal full of soul with a slight edge to it, which works wonderfully in some places and not so wonderfully in others.

Each song sounds - how can I put this - experimental. Production in the mixtape is kept minimalist, which causes you to focus more on the lyrics and Chia's often fragmented and almost staccato delivery. This produces an attractive rhythm at some points such as in You're Alright, though at other points you hear it an think "but fam, what was the point in that" like in Vade Mecum where the beat as well as the song itself seems to lack a sense of purpose. Additionally as she uses mostly the same delivery and production style on each track, the songs on the mixtape don't really sound all that different. However a couple do sound genuinely different, like Broken Promises which has more of a homely, melancholy soul feel to it.

That's another thing; while some songs you can instantly follow along with, lyrically some songs are a little more difficult to follow. For example in Purple the suggests some form of love song, though the chorus "I can do what [it] is I please, no they can take say from me so I go and spread me wings ‘til I get to where I need to be" alludes to a more self-inspirational song. One of my friends suggested that she means she can do what she pleases in terms of a relationship, though certain parts still don't make sense. Also Chance The Rapper’s feature was a bit confusing, as he (from what I can tell) intentionally starts off beat, but then he continues to rap well, though on a strange rhythm. It sort of leaves you thinking “dude you can rap, why did you go YOLO there though???” A shame.
Scientific Diagram

However where the mixtape excels is in Chia's proper use of her voice and delivery. Songs like Broken Promises and You're Alright stand out because here Chia has crafted her own element and sits within in it in a wonderful Chia shaped chair. She rules this part of the sonic universe and creates great music there, but problems arise when she operates on the fringes of that place, where over-uniqueness becomes her flaw.

Overall while Lorine is sadly average Lorine Chia is definitely one to keep an eye on. She's one of those artists that you can't help but think she's got something amazing - a unicorn if you will, though we'll have to wait a little while longer to see it. And so as night envelopes the land I retreat to my quarters, hoping that one day I shall once again come upon the 1 horned beast, and may it be true, and without confectionery.

Lorine Chia on Twitter: @LorineChia
You can download Lorine here.
If the link above doesn't work, try here.

My Top 3:
1) Broken Promises
2) You're alright
3) Can We

Photo Credits:
Original Horse Photo "Horse" by Moyan_Brenn -
Galaxy photo "Merging NGC 2623" by NASA

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