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Huge Fine Frenzy fan, a little disappointed with Pines...
on October 26, 2012
I was so excited for this album.
I bought One Cell In The Sea back when it came out in 2007, and I liked it a lot. Her sweet voice and piano captured me into buying her second album, Bomb In A Birdcage, in 2009. I absolutely fell in love with this album. It took her music to the next level, a little more upbeat, and her song-writing abilities shined like never before. Alison has inspired my own music greatly and my lyrics. I cover her songs a lot when I play live.
I saw on twitter she was making a new album called Pines. I saw the "album trailer" on YouTube and got even more excited.
Finally, after months of waiting, Pines was released and I went out to buy it.
I popped it in my computer, put on my skullcandy headphones, closed my eyes and gave it a listen. I'm writing this review as I listen to the album for the second time.
1. The opening song, Pinesong, I was very impressed with. It begins with a haunting cello, then brings in an acoustic guitar duet. Alison's voice is as beautiful as ever. More beautiful than the previous albums, which is why this review has three stars. It gets a little more exciting with drums and bass. But I emphasize the word "little."
2. I thought the next track would be more exciting. But no. Winds of Wander opens with quiet birds chirping, then a relatively boring guitar melody. Alison's voice really shines, but it's wasted on a melody that is very boring. In comes some piano, and cello. Honestly, this track really has nothing special about it. It's boring. Just boring.
3. Next comes Avalanches (Culla's Song). Alison's lyrics shine. "You bring light and second chances" really pops out to me. This song is much more what you would have heard on One Cell.
4. Riversong begins with a slow and full-sounding piano. I find this song sounds similar to "The Beacon" from Bomb In A Birdcage. If you're curious as to which song was on the Pines Album Trailer, it's this one. In comes some cello. I absolutely LOVE the lyrics in this.
5. The Sighting begins with guitar and Alison's lyrics. I don't find anything special about it, really.
6. Dream In The Dark begins with an acoustic guitar, almost sounding like a ukulele. It may be a six-string ukulele. I can't decide which it is. Alison's voice sounds far away, or like it was recorded on an iPhone with a bit of background noise and the quality not being very good. There's a solo of this ukulele-sounding instrument that eventually fades out, and then we hear about 10 seconds of ocean waves.
7. Next is Sailingsong. This is very upbeat! Something I would expect from Bomb In A Birdcage. Not really her best though. You'll know what I mean when you hear it. It has a repetitive feel.
8. Sadseasong's introduction are two violins that don't seem to know what each other is playing. It fades into a dreamy sounding escape. Then starts an average-sounding song. Nothing special about this one, either.
9. They Can't If You Don't Let Them's introduction is pretty funky. Then begins a "Norah Jones-Not Too Late(Album)" sounding song. I honestly don't really like this track's sound. Alison's voice is really excellent though.
10. Dance Of The Grey Whales begins with a whale-cry sounding moment. This song is an instrumental. The rest of the song is piano.
11. It's Alive is my favourite track on this whole album. It actually sounds like a combination of what you would have heard on One Cell and Bomb In A Birdcage. Yes, both. I love this song.
12. Now Is The Start was the first single. It sounds similar to It's Alive. It's a bit odd that she'd place It's Alive and this song next to one another on the track listing. It has a bit of an electronic and pop influence. You'll really notice it 2:30 into the song.
13. Untitled (Grasses Grow) I love this track as well. This also sounds similar to The Beacon from Bomb In A Birdcage. Alison's voice is very pure. It's a nice end to an alright album.
On my iTunes, I gave 5 stars to six of the tracks: Pinesong, Avalanches (Culla's Song), Riversong, Dream In The Dark, It's Alive, Now Is The Start, and Untitled (Grasses Grow). 4 stars to three tracks: Sailingsong, Sadseasong, Dance Of The Grey Whales. 3 stars to two tracks: The Sighting, They Can't If You Don't Let Them. 2 stars to one track: Winds of Wander.
This is my review of Pines. Overall, it's worth buying. But it's definitely my least favourite album of hers.