“Enjoy the show,” Lenka croons, starting off her self-titled debut album with a welcoming song. Lenka, an Australian-born singer-songwriter, moved to California in 2008, the same year she released her album. Before her transition to an American audience, Lenka was part of an Australian electro-rock band Decoder Ring.
“The Show” perfectly opens the album, giving listeners a taste of what will follow. The track is a blend of infectious and mellow pop, a style which accurately describes “Lenka”.
However, the album is not flawless. Although Lenka’s album is perfect for those wanting to daydream or take their mind somewhere else, the lyrics try to be worthy of something more, when, in essence, we have heard it all before. They lack originality with refrains like, “I’m so tired of being me, I wanna be free.” This does not hinder the potential of Lenka’s song-writing, as she does a good job, but it appears that she could have hit the heart with more impact.
The album’s content touches on the beauty and darkness in life, love and friendship, and ultimately, growing up in the real world. Lenka conveys her emotions through an indie-pop sound, with a soft, wistful and delicate voice, so much so that it makes it difficult for her to fully connect with the listeners.
What Lenka lacks in audience connection and lyrics, she does make up for instrumentation and production. Her songs are backed up with the likes of beautiful horns, strings, piano and drums, which give the album an eclectic, retro vibe.
Tracks such as “Live Like You’re Dying,” “Skipalong,” and “We Will Not Grow Old” were enjoyable as the album itself is upbeat and fun. Lenka’s voice will remind listeners of Lily Allen, Colbie Caillat and Regina Spektor.
The singer’s album overall is an easy, joyful listen. But halfway through the album, she includes a haunting ballad in “Trouble Is a Friend,” which does not entirely fit in with the sound of other tracks.
Though Lenka does not bring anything fresh nor take any risks, her songs have been a commercial hit. Several of her songs have been featured in movies, commercials and television shows. Ultimately, Lenka is talented and gifted, but could have brought more to her music. She recently became a mother and is currently working on her third album.
Tune into KSLC 90.3 FM to hear Lenka’s self-titled album. You can also listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.
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