Review Summary: A perfect blend of trip-hop atmosphere and sounds, combined with poppy hooks and the beautiful vocals of Jael.
Lunik is a band that has gone through a slow musical change during their career. They started out as a trip-hop group with pop influences and an above average female vocalist by the name of Jael. As time went on they began integrating more of their pop influences into the music and phasing out the electronics in order to make full use of their talented vocalist to break them into the mainstream. That plan has worked completely and, in hindsight, this album could be seen as the mid-ground between their older electronica based music, and their latest album, Preparing to Leave
, which is far more poppy and organic.
The album starts with a song that most closely resembles their past music, and is also representative of a little more then half of the songs on the album. Those songs, such as the opening track, contain laid-back beats, soft repetitive bass lines, unobtrusive acoustic guitars, subtle electronics and the beautiful vocals of Jael. The vocals themselves are just as chill as the music, just playfully and delicately interacting with it during the verses and taking the lead with a catchy chorus when it’s time for one. One of the best ways to describe these songs is to have you think of Sarah Mclachlan
’s slower songs but with more electronics and a nice mellow beat behind it. The atmosphere of these songs is generally sad or at least melancholy but not to the point where you have to be in a certain mood to listen to them.
The second track represents the direction Lunik have been experimenting with since the second album, and is also representative of the other half of the songs. These songs contain acoustic guitars too, but they’re the lead instrument instead of part of the whole atmosphere and they’re much more up-tempo and catchy. The rhythms themselves are also much more upbeat and can easily get you moving to them. These songs also feature the great vocals of Jael but her voice is the featured attraction instead of just part of the whole, especially in the choruses. The pop-oriented songs are generally a little happier and upbeat (but not always) and they seem to work more around the chorus of the song instead of an overall atmosphere.
For the most part this album is able to fluctuate between trip-hop and pop with ease, but there is a single flaw on the album. That flaw is a song called "You Won’t Stop Me". It starts with an obnoxious sounding distorted synth line, and then breaks into what could only be compared to the female fronted bubblegum rock of the 80’s. If you think of The Go-Go’s
and add a cheesy synth line, then you’ll be in the ballpark. Jael’s vocals aren’t horrible on this song but they’re not enough to save it, especially when the bubblegum-chorus comes in. In the end, though, it’s only one song and can easily be skipped.
Other than that one song that should have never been included, this album is basically flawless. The trip-hop songs are catchy, chill, and very strongly written. When you combine them with the more pop-oriented tracks, it helps to keep the album from ever becoming too lethargic or redundant because they help pick up the pace and can get you singing by the end of any one of them. Definitely for fans of Lene Marlin
or Sarah Mclachlan