Lexia
Underground Sounds


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
November 23rd, 2010 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forget what you know about Eyes Set to Kill. Alexia's first solo album is a solid collection of emotive electronic music that only suffers from the sparse acoustic tracks that close it out.

When Alexia Rodriguez spoke about her first solo album she stated that she “… once heard someone say that the true sign of a timeless song is whether it can be taken from one format to another, like electric to acoustic, and still have it be a great song." With that statement, I envisioned an album of acoustic tracks that Alexia would be ill-equipped to do anything with. I don’t mean to imply that she lacks talent, because Eyes Set to Kill proves that she is a capable musician. It just seems to be a lot harder for artists to write stripped down songs that are still interesting – especially for artists that generally specialize in heavier music. It turns out, though, that my initial assumptions were wrong on multiple levels. First of all, Underground Sounds isn’t just Alexia and her acoustic guitar, and second, it’s actually really good.

Admittedly, the sound of poppy electronics and bouncy synth was the very last thing that I expected, but opening track, “Basements,” is just that – and it’s excellent. Alexia sings beautifully over the energetic bubble-gum beat and new age synths, and her voice is more emotionally expressive than it has ever been. The next surprise is that subsequent tracks drop the bubble-gum pop in favor of dark, moody electronic pieces that creep forward providing outstanding foundations for Alexia’s vocals. These songs take chill beats and layers of melodic electronics and simply let Alexia’s voice shine. Fans of Eyes Set to Kill can refer to “Let Me In” from Broken Frames or “Come Home” from The World Outside for good examples of what to expect from her solo album.

Despite offering up a few tracks to help people understand what kind of album this is, there isn’t really a single song that could truly provide a complete preview of what to expect. For example, “Over” is a solid trip-hop track, complete with a deep bass undercurrent and another excellent vocal performance from Alexia. In contrast, “Reach” is simply Alexia and her acoustic guitar covering a song that she has probably played a thousand times before – which segues perfectly into the album’s only real issue. If Underground Sounds had maintained its electronic direction for the duration of its play time it would have been near-flawless, but the last few tracks switch over to an acoustic guitar-dominated orientation that feels a bit empty after the lush music that preceded it. There’s nothing really inherently wrong with the acoustic songs, they simply feel a bit apathetic and underdeveloped after the lush arrangements of the first two-thirds of the album.

Alexia Rodriguez’s decision to go with an electronics-dominated direction for most of the album was a risk, but it worked out perfectly. The moody pieces allow Alexia’s vocals to be featured front-and-center and she carries each song admirably. It’s doesn’t hurt that she has grown to be a very competent vocalist that doesn’t always get a chance to shine with her full time band. In fact, the electronics angle works so well that it ends up making the acoustic tracks that close out the album sound a bit lacking – despite the fact that they’re still very enjoyable due to the prominence of Alexia’s vocals. Overall, Underground Sounds might be a bit of a challenge for fans of Eyes Set to Kill to get into, but if they choose to focus on the lack of distortion and aggression it will be their loss. For everyone else, if you can forget everything that you think you know about Alexia’s full-time band and just go into this expecting solid and expressive electronic songs, you should come out on the other end a satisfied listener.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
November 23rd 2010


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The only place I could find samples of the entire album was here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B003VL3UWU/ref=pd_krex_dp_001_002?ie=UTF8&track=002&disc=001

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

ZippaThaRippa
November 23rd 2010


2439 Comments


sweeet

Apollo
November 23rd 2010


10365 Comments


awesome, will be getting this when its out

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2010


28789 Comments


nice i added this to the database a while ago cuz of the hawt album art

Willie
Moderator
November 23rd 2010


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome, will be getting this when its out
It's out.
nice i added this to the database a while ago cuz of the hawt album art
That's funny, that's why I add a lot of the stuff here too.

Acanthus
November 23rd 2010


9545 Comments


I'm going to check this out, "Come Home" was a really solid track and I enjoy her voice enough to give something new a shot.

"Basements" is interesting, though I can't decide if I enjoy it quite yet.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

pizzamachine
November 23rd 2010


12571 Comments


Hm, I love the electronic songs but the acoustic tracks seem sloppy and are even grating to listen to. Perfect review for this Willie!

GulliKyro
November 23rd 2010


357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't know this was out, must procure.

Willie
Moderator
November 23rd 2010


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I was listening to this for the first time and thinking that this would be at least a 4, but then those acoustic tracks came on.

TheStarclassicTreatment
November 23rd 2010


2910 Comments


Great review.

Her 'cover' of 'Reach' is so good.

DiceMan
November 24th 2010


7068 Comments


She's like a gothier lights.

ZippaThaRippa
November 24th 2010


2439 Comments


she's like a better lights

Willie
Moderator
November 24th 2010


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She like a similar Lights -- I don't want Balls to come in here raising hell ;)

I always thought that she was a decent vocalist, and a pretty good vocalist on the lastest EStK album, but this really shows that she can sing.

tkxxx7
November 24th 2010


6153 Comments


I really want to listen to this, but seeing her next to Craig Mabbit was enough to turn me completely off of her.

BallsToTheWall
November 24th 2010


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Need this.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

OutOfMyself
November 24th 2010


688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounding pretty good so far, she's just as talented as LIGHTS

KnuckleChowder
November 24th 2010


157 Comments


*Lexia In the summary.

Willie
Moderator
November 24th 2010


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think I get what you're trying to get at, but her name is Alexia Rodriguez and I was referring to the girl not the solo album name in the summary.

KnuckleChowder
November 24th 2010


157 Comments


Ahhh, I see. I know nothing about her so, yeah, serves me right for trying to correct you just based off a title haha. Sorry

astrel
November 24th 2010


2614 Comments


I just listened to the Radiohead cover and it is surprisingly decent.



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