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Spellling-The Turning Wheel ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Ok. Let’s not beat around the bush here. You guys know why I am doing this. I know why I’m doing this and basically everyone who plans to review this knows why they’re reviewing this. It was given a 10 out of 10 by the most influential music critic of our time. Personally, I’m not shy of admitting that Fantano as a reviewer is my biggest influence and the prime reason why I started reviewing in the first place. Surely my opinions change from his. I don’t take the opinion standpoint of his music. I mainly take his reviewing style and format into play. I see him as a success story for a reviewer. With that being said though, let’s see if we get a 10 on this one.


Songwriting


Chrystia is one hell of a songwriter. There are a lot of influences to her songwriting that I will nod to later but what she brings to the table is just the purest form of art pop. Surely the topics of triumph, nature and love are surfaced but there is one thing that heavily influences her songwriting. fairytales. I wouldn’t consider this Twee Pop but it does have a topics that could center toward younger children with songs like “The Future” and “Emperor With An Egg”. It’s not like it’s some Disney movie either because songs like “Boys At School” shows Chrystia in the point of view of a high school teen feeling like an outcast as she “hates the boys at school”. Chrystia is really one talented songwriter and with this only being her third album, it’s scary to see what she can do in the future.


Vocal Performance

So her songwriting is truly one to watch, but what about her voice? Does she half-effort her way into the song? Does she keep a tune? Does she stand on her own? No, Yes and Yes. Chrystia is more than a great singer. She actually has a very confident and somewhat portentous delivery. It’s super theatrical and grand. It could come off as a little gimmicky at points but that’s just part of the kitsch. She is one talented vocalist and the instrumentation compliments it well.


Instrumentation


Speaking of instrumentation, This is overwhelmingly cohesive. From the orchestral intro of “Little Deer”, to the ritualistic singing to “Sweet Talk”. Every ounce of the production is blemished. There are a lot of subtle percussion sounds that pepper the album as well as progressive electronic synthesizers, rhythmic acoustic guitars, baroque instrumentation, melodic bass lines, emotional pianos and even Gilmour esc electric guitar. Kind of reminds me of instrumental palettes of other art pop legends….


Influence


Even people who don’t search for influences can see that there is obvious Kate Bush influence. The voice, the instrumentation, the songwriting is all very similar to Kate Bush. Then there is “Queen Of Wands” where it sounds like Kraftwerk doing a Dr Who score. The guitar solo of “Magic Act” did give me a little bit of a Gilmour esc feel to it and if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for Gilmour’s tone and guitar playing. There is also a huge Scott Walker influence too with the song structure and somewhat narrative like tone to the vocals. Does she use her influences well? I’d say so. She might not be one of a kind and she might come off as a little derivative at points but at the end of the day, she is human and like other humans, she picks up and learns from the people before her.

Cons


Well, a lot of the cons that people have said, are not really a problem for me. The voice is tolerable to me, it’s not really super pretentious either. My gripe with this album is that some songs can draw out at points. I’ll also say with the people that have done this type of music, it took time for them to hone their craft and she certainly has more time to develop and create an even better album. Other than that, I see the hype.


Verdict


Yeah. This album is really good. I honestly might grow to like it more and more overtime but for now, let’s just say that it might not be my favorite of the year, but it’s surely a contender.


8/10



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