Annie.R – Megalo (Jamendo)
A dose of blunt Pop today, the likes of which I habitually avoid for reasons unknown to even me given that, all things considered, I’ve nothing in particular against the music itself. Annie.R, who loses points by default for having the full stop there, is a songstress working on the borders of that heartland of female singer song writers who seem to be an eternal presense in the world of mainstream music.
I’m not sure how fair a comparison it is to point to the likes of Norah Jones and Katie Melua when talking about Annie.R, although there are similarities to be noticed vocally at least there are also a few variations on the theme present which move more towards… something else. For starters she’s French, I assume (given the lack of info available) which offers a certain Gallic tint to her voice which isn’t unpleasant and at one point even hints at a possibly imagined taste of a French Kate Bush; but it’s a very slight hint which certainly doesn’t say anything for this album beyond the split second where it could be said to exist.
The music too offers something a little different given the sporadically dancy or Rock-ish highlights contained but it’s hard to say whether they do anything to help the overall project given the slightly derivative manner in which they’re undertaken. They are just interludes though between the general gist of the sound which is more fuzzily acoustic Folk than anything else and that extends to the cover versions contained too which are passable if not particularly exciting spins on the songs.
It’s hard to come to any greater conclusions about this effort though I have to say, there are hints of lots of different, not particularly exciting, influences here which seem to come together to create a pleasant enough album fuelled by a pleasant enough voice but which leaves you wondering exactly what Annie.R actually wants to do musically. Perhaps a bit more space for her as a singer would be good, a longer album, no covers and preferably a less dominant instrumental background to let her carry matters along more on her own talents. Infact definitely a less dominant background given that what’s here at times seems like someone walked in and slapped down an (not overly interesting) instrumental album and told Annie to try and fit her bits in around it. Although as this is listed only as the fruits of Annie’s own labours she presumably dealt with that side herself which suggests that a step back with her guitar, voice and a subservient producer would be a valid idea.
Anyway, despite the long list of suggestions and doubts above I’d still recommend, or at least not disagree with, downloading Megalo because there is some charm here and despite the litany of possible adjustments that could be made the album itself isn’t too bad at all for a relatively relaxed listen.