At first I didn't know how I felt about her voice. She sometimes gets borderline cutesy with it and has a fairly interesting way of pronouncing things (sometimes her 'A' sounds make her sound like a sheep?) so my immediate response was to move on. Yet, I still had that song stuck in my head an hour later. Needless to say I went back and listened to it again, and again... and again and then I caved, downloaded the album and listened endlessly for maybe a week and a half. Everyone who got in my car at some point over winter break was subject to this album. I listened to it so much that even though it was released in the last week of December, it quickly marched its way up my Top Albums of 2011 list (where it sits among some of the other albums I've reviewed so far, check out my review on Benjamin Francis Leftwich, I'm proclaiming his album my #1).
'Red' is an interesting mix. It's clearly pop-driven, but her unique voice has been given an equally unique splitting of the tracks into half-indie-electronic-ish and half-acoustic. You've got your heavy hitting hooks with an Ellie Goulding/MGMT influence like "Don't Kick The Chair", featuring Kid Cudi (who I have no interest in but damn, that track is infectious) and "Billy The Kid", which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are the soft, break-your-heart acoustic tracks like "The Broken Ones" (her single and one of my favorite pop records this year) and "Trapeze". It's a good mix that keeps me from getting bored during 'Red's duration. At any given point I am feeling 'the fuzzies', dancing around, or probably crying. Not to mention, I think the lyrics for these tracks are phenomenally written. They're vulnerable, relatable and clever. It's an all-around home run for me.
If you like Ellie Goulding, A Fine Frenzy or even Colbie Callait, give this album a spin. Like what you hear? Check out Meg & Dia's album "Here, Here and Here". As you can imagine it's Dia's sound amplified; fuller, but with the same clever lyrics and great hooks. But even without her sister, you can tell this little lady's going places. Check out "The Broken Ones" here: