Review Summary: An album that accomplishes what it sets out to do, and does so elegantly...
Andreya Triana’s debut album, "Lost Where I Belong", may not be anything new or revolutionary, but it also isn’t trying to be any of those things, instead it simply attempts to create a relaxing atmosphere and showcase Triana’s vocal and songwriting ability, and in this regard it excels. While most well known for her guest vocal appearances, namely on Bonobo
’s 2010 outing, "Black Sands", Triana has made somewhat of a name for herself thanks to her soulful vocal style that has seen several artists, including Flying Lotus
, Mount Kimbie
, Theo Parrish
, Mr. Scruff
, Manu Delago
, and the aforementioned Bonobo
, request her talents or led them to remix some of her work.
The opening track, “Draw the Stars”, sets up the general sound of the album to come with an excellent, laidback, and refined style of production courtesy of Simon Green (AKA Bonobo
) that fuses his typical down-tempo/ trip-hop sound while mixing it together with obvious influences from folk, jazz, and soul music, and Green is able to do this in a fashion where the instrumentation simply flows along with and seemingly converges upon Triana’s vocals, which truly shine throughout the album, allowing them to remain at the forefront of the record throughout its forty minute running time.
From a lyrical standpoint, "Lost Where I Belong", seems to directly hint at its premise from the very beginning as one reads the title, as most of the lyrics seem to reference or recall feelings of loss in the various forms that many people will encounter it throughout their lives, and Triana is able to put these feelings to words in a way that is neither cheesy or pretentious, but rather seemingly heartfelt and honest, with their emphasis truly resting not only in what she says, but also in the emotion emanating from her as she delivers line after line of lovelorn imagery.
There is one aspect of the record that works rather effectively, both for and against itself in at least one case, and that is how the mood flows across the LP, with the first three tracks maintaining a fairly upbeat sound before shifting into a more somber sound for the next two pieces before working its way back into the more upbeat sound once again for the remainder of the album, excluding the album closer, “X”, which again sees the slower, more ‘dark’ sound return again. Unfortunately for some, this may leave the album feeling a bit uneven in tone, however for most this shouldn’t pose an issue as regardless of tone the album consistently keeps its chilled out atmosphere above all else.
So what it all comes down to is this: Is "Lost Where I Belong" a game changer? The answer is again, no, but that was not this album’s goal because all it set out to be a phenomenal collection of songs that all centered around a single theme, and in that respect it exceeds expectations considering that many might write this off as not worth listening to simply because Triana is more well known for her guest performances, and for many performers of that nature it is probably best that it stays that way, however Andreya Triana is not one of those performers, instead she is an eloquent songwriter working with one of the finest producers to create a record that is well worth your time.