Review Summary: Nice, solid, decent? Check. Original? Well...
As a new Frostwire user (basically Limewire, for the uninitiated), I happened across their front page “ad”, if you will. It was pretty typical fare, an airbrushed pretty face with a guitar. I glanced over it several times, writing if off as just another pop act. Finally breaking down and reading it out of boredom, the description read:
“Delivering a sound that is both fresh and uniquely her own, Calise combines hard rock, grunge, and urban-edged pop with crunchy guitars, angsty lyrics, and an instantly identifiable vocal that is hauntingly beautiful and completely raw all at once.
After reading that particular bit of hyperbole, and as I was letdown by Alison Iraheta’s debut, I was drawn to this (it being free helped as well). I figured what the hell, nothing to lose but bandwidth (which is gold to some), and so I clicked “download now”. A few minutes and some strategic unzipping
later, I was able to hit play. Before I go into the music, I’ll try and give the information as I know it (details are sparse). All signs seem to point to Alexx providing the guitar (at least some) on the album. No other instrumental info is given, which leads one to assume that the other instruments are handled by studio musicians. As is to be expected, they don’t do anything special or noteworthy. They are just there to provide a backdrop. On to the actual songs…
“Morning Pill”, starts off with a quick intro of Alexx thanking her fans and such. Not a song by any stretch. Pull It (Bullet)
is the first true song here. It comes as close as any to embodying the description quoted above. Fast and in your face, Alexx’s voice drives the song. It more walks the line between pop and rock, than stepping on either side. C’mon You
comes across as straight up “Cock Rock”. With lyics like:
“All I want to do is come on, you don’t have a clue/ …You know I like it fast, you want to take it slow…I’ll be riding high, and when I’m riding low/ I really need to come and then I really need to go/”
Subtle? Not really. Think Nickelback, with more pop than rock and more or less decent. The main gripe with this song is her vocals. They just lack the power that she displays elsewhere. Falling
is the ballad. With mostly soft guitar and drums, it also shows (in my opinion) her best vocals to be found on “Morning Pill”. Chill is a perfect word to describe this; slow and emotional, with a Colbie Caillat vibe to it. Out of Sight
slowly eases back into the louder area. With the catchiest chorus here (I find myself humming it at random times), I’m surprised this wasn’t picked for the first single over Pull It (Bullet).
The last song and title track Morning Pill
is also the longest track at 4:26. It would be pretty close to my favorite song, with its VERY catchy chorus. The problem comes around the end of the song, when she tries to add too much grit to her voice, and it falls flat. Other than that minor blemish, the rest is a very decent cut of pop/rock.
Now, that may seem like very few flaws for this album, but a problem still remains. We’ve been here before. Be it the Kelly Clarkson rock edge, or the “edgy” Guns n’ Roses-esque lyrics. It’s all been done before, and better as well. In a world where derivative and cliché music has become the norm, Ms. Calise’s album fits right in. While that is not exactly a glittering review -being judged on a purely singular basis-, “Morning Pill” is still a solid release. And with the steady stream of monotonous and boring music, that may be the most one can hope for. So with a payment of nothing more than a few minutes of your time, go ahead and download “Morning Pill” and make the decision for yourself.
All of them, it is free after all.