Review Summary: Good pop music is one of the hardest things to make, you have to stick to a formula and be inventive at the same time.
There are two basic ways you can approach making a pop record - you can hop on the bandwagon of what is current, hip popular, or what worked for you last time around or you can try to be inventive as much as the constraints of making a record that will attract mass appeal allow you.
Now, the latter is certainly one of the hardest musical routes around, and you really have to be good, have a good team helping you out, and a solid dose of good luck to boot.
I don’t know if Alya Michelson, or just Alya will have any luck with her debut album “Ten Years of Solitude”, but based on it, as far as pop records are concerned, she seems to have both inventiveness and capabilities.
First of all, the reason many music fans shy away from ‘straightforward’ pop is exactly a formulaic, routine approach that makes quite a few pop records sound more or less the same.
With her debut album, Russian born Los Angeles resident Alya has decided to go the harder route towards wider public appeal - make music that is at the same time accessible and ‘ radio friendly’ but try to fit in as many elements that usually can’t find in such material.
Lush orchestral arrangements (“Hachiko”), trip-hop beats and off-beat electronics (“Animals”), Japanese acoustic instruments and vocals (“Romano”) and not so poppy rhythmic patterns (“Puppet Strings”), all abound on “Ten Years Of Solitude”, all combined with Alya’s vocals that need no studio trickery to sound good all fitted into songs that have both head and tail and still sound like the music that can acquire those thousands of streams successful pop music gets today.
All that is wrapped up in “Colourful Dreams”, the closing track here, that has all the qualities of good, inventive and at the same time very listenable pop.
Still, that success was not the primary thing on Alya’s mind when she made this album is the fact that she will be donating all profits from this album to the “Naked Heart Foundation” which has a mission to help kids with special needs and learning disabilities. Hopefully, she will have a bundle to donate.