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Lachi

Lachi

(Fanatic; US: 27 Jul 2010; UK: 27 Jul 2010)

Strong arrangements almost mask an average voice

Lachi is a black, female, piano-playing singer-songwriter—so obvious (if lazy) parallels are apt to be drawn with Joan Armatrading or even Alicia Keys. In fact, a better touchstone would be Alanis Morissette, whose cracked warble seems to have inspired Lachi’s own.


There are other parallels too. In guitar-driven workouts like “We Can Fly” and “Funny Girl”, Lachi belts out wry observations about love and relationships, while softer numbers like “Emo Children” provide a change-up. All the songs here are crowded with sonic interest—pianos and guitars, processed vocals, guitar effects, snaky basslines and lively percussion ensure that the songs don’t run together. (The liner notes thank 14 musicians for contributing, but there is no indication as to who plays what.)


Most of the songs are diverting, and the production is excellent: full and lush. Ironically, the weak link in some of these songs is Lachi herself, whose voice isn’t quite up to the mark it sets for itself at times. Despite that, this is a lively, engaging set.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Lachi - "Slow Down"
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