Review Summary: Lunik shed their trip-hop roots and with it goes their originality.
When Lunik started they were a trip-hop band with a knack for writing hooks into their songs, and they also had an exceptional vocalist named Jael. Since the beginning she has been a huge asset to the band and apparently they realized it too. As time went on they began centering their songs more and more around her, becoming more poppy in the process and slowly shedding the trip-hop influences. On this new album that transformation has basically become complete.
It only takes a few seconds of listening to the first track to realize that this is going to be a different album from anything they’ve done in the past. The first thing you’ll notice is that, with few exceptions, they’ve replaced the electronic beats with an actual acoustic drum set. What’s more, the beats this drummer plays are basically just keeping time for the music and don’t really offer anything to the character of the songs like the old electronic beats used to. The next thing you’d probably notice is that the synth lines they used to use have been almost entirely replaced by pianos, keyboards, and stringed instruments. What all this means is that the trip-hop influence is pretty much gone from the music.
Now that we’ve established what’s changed, the main question is still, “Is the album any good?
” The answer is a little more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. If taken without any thoughts about the quality and slight originality of their old albums than the answer is yes, the album is good. On the other hand, if you consider their past albums than the answer is a little more vague… and that’s the path we take. They still have a few songs, such as “Fall”, where their electronic-based past is readily apparent and these songs are also some of the best on the album. What we have with the rest of the album, though, is mid-paced acoustic-based pop songs built around a hook and Jael’s vocals. If not for their vocalist, the rest of the songs could be played by any of a number of other faceless female fronted bands. Therein lies the problem with this album; it is good on its own and is worth a listen but for people that have been listening to Lunik for a while, they might have a problem listening to this album without thinking of what was and what might have been.
The album starts with a song that is typical of most the album as a whole. An unassuming acoustic guitar riff, some keyboards, typical acoustic drum beats that show no homage to the group’s trip-hop past, and Jael’s awesome vocals. That description can be taken two ways; the first being that it sounds like the same boring crap that most of these mellow female-fronted bands seem to churn out. The second way it could be taken is basically the same as the first except that you remove the words “boring crap” and replace them with the word “music”. The second way is the more accurate way to describe it since it really does sound like most other bands in their genre, but it is better than most of them mainly due to Jael’s vocals and the catchiness of the music as a whole.
So, this review is ending and is still without a definitive answer about whether or not this album is worth getting. If you’ve never heard them before and like the style of music that includes Dido
, Sarah Mclachlan
, and old Jewel
, than the rating in the top corner definitely applies to you and could possibly be higher. For past fans of the band, though, by the end of this album it's apparent that when they lost their trip-hop roots they shed most of what made them unique. There’s still enough of a nod to their past to keep this album above the dime-a-dozen guitar-based pop bands that are out there, but its just not up to the standards of their past albums. I’d only recommend this album to people who have already listened to Lunik’s album, Weather
, as that is their peak as of this point in time.