Review Summary: Proof that a good voice does not always make a good album.
If you've listen to much mainstream rock radio at all in the last year, then you might have at least an idea of who Diamante is. The mainstream rock world more or less got introduced to her by way of a Bad Wolves song, "Hear Me Now," which was that band's second single to hit the airwaves after the way overplayed "Zombie" cover. Diamante is actually a solo artist herself (full name Diamante Azzura Bovelli), and a rather young one at that. She was only 21 last year when her debut record got quietly released through Eleven Seven Records. Ironically, it was the duet song with Bad Wolves that alerted people to her existence. And now her own solo lead single "Haunted" is hitting the radio rock airwaves as well. So what's the full album like？
Well, much to her credit, she has a good and unique voice--kind of breathy, but with a certain rich thickness to it. She shows some range as well, singing a little higher at times. As for the sound, it's somewhat on the poppier side of rock--it's been compared to Jen Ledger of Skillet's solo project. However, it's guitar-driven enough to fit in with the rest of mainstream rock--even though it's certainly not as heavy as the band that put her name out there with "Hear Me Now."
Unfortunately, despite Diamante's best efforts with her vocals, this album does not have a lot to offer. Sound-wise, this album is mostly too cliche and sterile to impress. What you think of the single "Haunted" will probably apply to what you think of the rest of the album, because it's one of the better songs on here. It's catchy, but it's not anything special. Similar things could be said of other songs like "Sleepwalking" or "Sound of Us." Not particularly bad, but hardly memorable either. The problem is that too many of the sounds tend to blend into each other--until the final couple of songs. More on them later.
The biggest problem is probably the lyrics, however. They range from typical radio rock cliches like "Sound of Us" and "Bulletproof" (yup, another song named "Bulletproof") to some actually rather cringe-worthy stuff like "Fight Like a Girl," "Kind of Love," or "Definitely Not in Love." Songs like these show lyrical immaturity that probably should've been expected from an artist this young, and hopefully she'll improve over time.
The album gets kind of weird when for its final two tracks (not including "Lo Siento," which is just a Spanish version of "I'm Sorry"), they give us the worst song on the album immediately followed by the best. First is "Definitely Not in Love," which combines a fast-paced chorus with spoken/almost rapped verses, treating us to the worst lyrics on here ("Your jokes never make me laugh, I never miss when you when you're away, I don't like you"). Then that song is followed by "War Cry," which has a surprisingly catchy crunch to it and makes me wonder where Diamante was hiding stuff of this quality for almost the entire album.
If you're a fan of the genre, maybe you'll want to check this out. But aside from "War Cry" and good vocals, this album doesn't have a whole lot to offer. The problem is that she's kind of stuck musically at a point where she might not be heavy enough for rock fans, but will also probably be too heavy for pop fans. She'll need to figure out which side she wants to lean more towards musically, and also write better lyrics. But there is an ever-so-faint hint of promise here. It'll be interesting to see if Diamante can put forth a better effort next time, because she definitely at least has vocal talent; it'd be a shame if that turned out to be all she had.
Song Highlights: "War Cry," "Haunted"