I am a huge fan of Lissie. Enough so that I reviewed two of her albums (Live at union chapel and My Wild West), two of her concerts (at Manchester and in Brighton), and interviewed her. Therefore, I was delighted to hear that she was releasing a new album; Castles is out today.
The opening of Castles has fragments of the elements; it’s the sound of rain that sets the tone for the album. It reminds me of how Fredia Hughes describes the creation of Ariel by Sylvia Plath (see the reference here), in the inclusion of seasonal references, gearing towards a new life. World Away sets the tone.
I also think that English students would like this album; what is striking is the use of fairytale language, the motifs of Castles. (This continues throughout.) Overall, this creates a far more conceptual album than previous works.
The sound of this album is also a departure from Lissie’s usual sound; Castles is a mix of dream rock, with songs not being based around the guitar. She also experiments a bit more with her voice; there is a lot more of her lower register, as well as the occasional falsetto.
Favourites on the album? Castles, the title track. Oh, and Blood and muscle-there lyrics are sparse, enough so that less is more, clearly. There is even a vulnerability which partially harks back to Back To Forever. Yet, this is what lends Lissie her power.
Best Days is a song for the beach; reminiscent of nineties dance music, it is one of the more optimistic tracks on the album.
Towards the end of the album, I begin to enjoy myself more; Somewhere begins with a slightly creepy quality, perfect for the backdrop of a horror film. However, it transforms into a song that seems almost nostalgic for Everywhere I Go. Unlike other tracks on the album, there is not a collision of sound.
Love Blows is also notable; the fast opening verse is like Back To Forever. There are confessional lyrics , reflecting a portrait of a women standing outside herself, looking back over her life.Meet Me In The Mystery completes the album. There’s a haunted quality, a sense of a story unfolding before our very eyes. (Well, ears!)
Overall, I wasn’t sure what to make of this album. It’s not what I expected.. But I would like to see it performed live. The more I listen, the more it grows on me, inspire of my initial disappointment. Give it a try, see what you think.
Disclaimer: I was sent this album to review on the basis that I was reviewing it for two magazine assignments, so I thought I should share it on my blog. However, my opinions are my own. You can read more about it under my disclaimer.