Review Summary: A strong follow-up to her debut, claiming her place high up in the Swedish pop-scene
Fallingwater by Lisa Miskovsky
Lisa Miskovsky is fairly unknown outside of the Nordic countries but in her homeland Sweden she is a respected singer/songwriter who most people that are into the pop genre know about. Her breakthrough was with the single Driving One Of Your Cars from her self-titled debut from 2001. It was a solid pop debut and she definitely showed she had some potential. For the hard follow-up album she sought help from an old Swedish pop veteran, Joakim Berg, singer and songwriter of one of Sweden`s most popular pop/rock band, Kent. They wrote some songs together and he also helped a bit with the producing. The result came out in the fall of 2004, titled Fallingwater.
First song and first single is Lady Stardust which starts of with some very rhythmic drums fading in. It`s a fairly slow song, although her singing is quick and strong. It`s not a very fair first single, it lacks intensity but it shows off some good singing and songwriting. A Brand New Day, another single, follows. It got a more interesting sound, driven forward by guitars and Lisa singing with her own voice as backup choir. The more melodic tone of this song makes it much more enjoyable than Lady Stardust and her singing is a lot harder to pull off on this one, which she manages just fine. One of the strongest songs on the album. Following is another single, Sing To Me. It starts off where the previous song ended, using the same pace for the verses. At the chorus it becomes faster and gets a little electronic sound, which is a nice change. Like all the previous tracks the bass stands out here. The greatest part of the song is the interlude where partly it`s just Lisa singing. You Dance Just Like Me has a sort of country vibe around it and it`s very different from the previous tracks. Light drumming, catchy guitar and high-pitched singing and wailing make it a really great pop tune.
Next is Sweet Dreams which rides on the same wave, but a lot slower and much less interesting. The song nearly stands still and not even at the chorus the song lifts. Avoid. One Dark Night is a personal favourite of mine. It’s just acoustic guitar and Miskovsky`s voice which work really well together. Even though the song is slow, the emotional singing takes the song to dizzy heights. Following is a very catchy pop anthem, named Midnight Sun, where Joakim Berg`s heavy influence Depeche Mode shines through. (I also have some reasons to believe that guitarist Harri Mänty from Kent made the guitar solo`s). This song is very quick-paced and the guitar and drumming is exceptional, as well as the singing. Next song is Butterfly Man, a piano driven emotional song which features wailing and very beautiful singing. At the end the pace is driven forward to some heavy and fast wailing by Lisa. Restless Heart starts with Lisa humming before she starts singing the story-like lyrics which gives the song a feel-good-feeling in addition to the happy humming. Very generic sounding musically, but the lyrics and the singing at least makes something special of it as a whole.
Joan of Arc is another favourite of mine. It starts of with some cool guitar and drumming in addition to the excellent singing. The lyrics are by far the least cheesy on the album even though they are about the most cheesy and generic songwriting theme ever, love. It also features a nice interlude with amazing guitar backup and Lisa singing very strong and taking some amazing notes. Take Me By The Hand sounds very generic and is nothing special really but the chorus is quite neat with Lisa singing the background vocals and occasionally even Joakim Berg takes tone at the end of the song. The last song on the album is a sneaky duet with Joakim Berg called Back To Stoneberry Road. His voice isn`t very strong but you can definitely hear he is singing the backup vocals. (When I saw her play live in 2004 he even joined her onstage for this song). It has a dark sound around it, with just a simple piano playing. It`s a calm and safe way to end an album like this.
To summarize the album I would like to say some things in general about the album. First of all, it is a very generic pop album, nothing revolutionary or anything like that if you were expecting such a thing. Her first album showed lack of producing, this one is almost overproduced, especially the bass. Overall, it shows a good singer/songwriter from one of her best sides.
Recommended tracks are:
A Brand New Day
One Dark Night
Overall rating: 3/5.