Review Summary: Jonna Lee will make you feel cold and will make you dance.
Swedish singer, songwriter, and producer Jonna Lee started iamamiwhoami as a mysterious project on YouTube. She captivated fans with her interesting voice and brand of synth pop and released kin
shortly after. With that album, she hid behind the scenes and slowly built upon her persona. On Blue
we see Jonna at front and center of her project. The cover art is evident that Jonna wants to be the leading role. Accompanying the album, she released a film which shows enthralling imagery of her dancing on ice, dressed in all white, while the cold, blue water surrounds her. It gives perspective on the type of music she wants you to experience.
Honestly, there is nothing groundbreaking about the instrumental aspect of the sound here, but it's well done. It's very similar to CHVRCHES or Grimes. Many of the songs use textured synth notes with a heavy drumming base in the background. Songs such as "Ripple" and "Hunting For Pearls" use a repetitive drum machine sequence to create an infectious rhythm. If you're familiar with kin
, you'll notice the experimental aspects are pretty much gone. However, what makes this album stand out is Jonna herself. It's the way that she uses her voice to create a dream-like aura to express a feeling of coldness, stillness, while the beat goes on. It's reminiscent of Thom Yorke on "Reckoner" where her voice echoes and stretches out to makes it feel magical or ethereal. Despite this, most songs beg to be singed along to, even if it's hard to understand her at first. The melody on "Fountain" and the line "surge like a fountain, riptide" will probably get stuck in your head. Be ready.
can be placed into the category of albums where the parts are better than the sum. Listening to it in full can be a bit daunting and monotonous at times, just like CHVRCHES albums tend to feel. One has to be in a certain mood to keep listening to heavy synth over and over again. When "Tap Your Glass" comes in, it feels a bit obnoxious, but it's not a bad song! None of the songs on here are bad songs. They just feel like too much of the same. I would recommend watching the film before listening to this in full, or checking the singles first. It's worth it. Jonna Lee knows what she is doing and should not be overlooked.