‘Pinesong’ is sleepily sub par
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 22:10
Within the world of indie pop, Alison Sudol, the voice of A Fine Frenzy, is known for her soft style. Sudol’s musical traits have shone through on her last several EPs “One Cell in the Sea” and “Bomb in a Birdcage.” Though many of the songs featured on her albums are woeful in nature, they are always balanced out with the optimistic “I’ll-get-through-it” comeback tracks. Additionally, an airy and whisper-like vocal quality contributes to her peacefully pleasant tone.
Sadly, on “Pinesong”, Sudol breathily sings about lost love…and not much else.
Melancholia permeates each and every track on “Pinesong”. And although this is quite a common trend in the indie rock scene, it is not skillfully done here. Variety is the spice of life, and so it is in music. People enjoy our one or two somber tracks on an album, it allows listeners to mellow out and relate to whatever emotionally distraught idea the artist is conveying. This one, however, may drive you straight to depression.
First is the title track has a listenable and quite magical melody that invokes in listeners a sense of utter and complete tranquility. It has a feeling that can be depicted as nothing other than sauntering through a field with fairies. All is well and good, especially for an initial song. One might even add that it soothingly (and successfully) draws in listeners who may otherwise be uninterested. It is after this, however, that the album takes a turn for the worst. The next 12 songs are a blur of gloom and grogginess, all done under the theme of ocean waves and snooze-inducing sailing.
“Winds of Wander” is a painful six-minute fusion of yodel-like moans and snail-paced instrumentation comprised of acoustic guitar and piano. The situation worsens with “Riversong,” a similarly soporific tune which endures for a whopping eight minutes.
“Dance of the Gray Whales” is self-explanatory, but to its credit aids a long and lasting slumber. “Sailingsong” is the most upbeat of the collection, providing a more “awake” sound, but it still lacks in any lyrical substance.
Comprehensively, the album displeases any fan of A Fine Frenzy and quite simply shames the genre of indie pop. The vocal talents of Alison Sudol are lost through figurative waves of ennui.
But then again, “Pinesong” be the napper’s ideal companion.