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Review: Claire London – Like a Machine.

October 16th, 2011

The world of female singers these days is stuffed full of pretty girls on auto-tune. It becomes a frustrating experience trying to weed through more and more of the same old.

clairelondonalbumcoverThe first song I heard on Claire London’s Like a Machine was Basket Case, a song loaded with soulful blues and a rap bridge. First impression, pretty good. Second impression, rap? Yet Claire London had a rapping style that let her get away with it. Sexy and sultry, Basket Case is a dangerous sounding song.

But the album isn’t all rock/blue/soul in sexy voice. Every other song on the disk sounds like a compromise with the record company, just another generic song in a generic age.

When London breaks the shackles of what female singers are supposed to sound like in 2011, the album soars. It is musically diverse, and she is a singer of rare quality. The slow blues of Another Side, a Cat Stevens style acoustic song, complete with two part vocal counter-play with herself in the coda, super sexy Basket Case, reminiscent of Allanah Myles Black Velvet, with a rap where the guitar solo should go. What if we Started a Fire, another acoustic guitar piece that perfectly blends voice, lyric and guitar. Nowhere at All, London’s voice soars over a piano and cello, creating pure beauty. Their all dynamic songs graced with musicality and vocal prowess.

But Like a Machine has it’s share of weak songs: Color Me, more electronic than musical, Diary of a Mad Woman, Space Queen and Burning Daylight are attempts at a dance music that is nothing more than an average Beyonce or Madonna song, neither worthy of hearing twice.

The weak music in Like a Machine give it commercial potentiality, some street cred on a broken street. But there’s enough of the other to make Claire London’s debut album interesting and worth the listeners time.

In short, when she’s good, she’s very good, when she’s bad, she’s Madonna.

Review, Weekend Magazine ,

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