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Lex Land

Were My Sweetheart to Go

(Intelligent Noise; US: 16 Aug 2011; UK: Import)

Austin-based singer/songwriter Lex Land’s second record shows no lack of willingness to explore multiple genres, though it could do with a little more focus. Within the first three tracks of the record, Land jumps from alternative rock to jazz to electro-pop. While some of it works (“Someone New on My Mind”, with its classic jazz stylings, is a great showcase for her voice), much of it doesn’t fare as well (the bouncy synthesizer melody on “Havana” doesn’t quite fit her vocal style). After that display of diversity, though, the record decides to stick to the typical singer/songwriter sonic, with the piano and the acoustic guitar at the forefront. This strange tonal shift makes for an uneven listen, given that the album’s most unique moments happen all at once, and then don’t recur on the rest of the record. Had Land stuck to the singer/songwriter material that takes up the majority of the record, she would have been better off. The strongest songs on the album are those moments; the slower, inquisitive songs like “Was It Really All that Bad?” and “What Happens Now?” serve as the best demonstration of her skill as a singer and as a lyricist. Land’s potential is great, but if this record is any indication, quality is the key to displaying her talent rather than quantity.

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Brice Ezell is the Assistant Editor of PopMatters, where he also reviews music, film, and books, which he has done since 2011. He also is the creator of PopMatters' Notes on Celluloid column, which covers the world of film music. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour", was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.


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14 Sep 2008
A solid singer-songwriter debut from a young woman with a strong, classically-trained voice, Land really stands out on her darker songs.
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