The formula of heavy beats, electronic loops, and traditional instruments combined with elegant female vocals has served everyone from its pioneer Bjork to Mono and Hooverphonic well. While there is, without a doubt, bad trip-hop in the world, its dreamy glamour seems to keep most of it intriguing. This, and only this, is why Nina Hynes’ Creation is enjoyable to listen to.
A short six song collection, Creation seems to be more of a sample of Nina Hynes’ music than an actual album. The songs are taut and beautiful, bringing in mellow alt-rock guitars into the equation while not straying from its trip-hop roots. With Hynes’ seductively knowing voice, it seems to be an impossibility for Creation to be bad. Unfortunately, for all the potential that is here, it doesn’t rise much above that level.
Starting with the intense “William Tell”, Creation seems to promise great things, but the next song, too straightforward “This Magic Stuff” doesn’t deliver. The atmospheric “He Turned the Light Off” returns to the sound of “William Tell” but meanders along without ever getting anywhere. The dark and spooky “Trigger” and “Out of the Tunnel” standout from the other songs as the strongest, while “Bring Me Alive” concludes Creation on a bit of a disappointing note. Everything on Creation is probably worth hearing, but the feeling that most of these songs could be better is inescapable.
Lyrically, Nina Hynes brings the right sense of off-kilter mystery. On “Trigger” she sings sinisterly “One move could trigger an ice age unleashing from the mind’s cage.” Later, on “Bring Me Alive”, she declares “The physical manifestation of me is not who I am”. The lyrics are dramatic, and while they can be a bit overdone, they are definitely haunting, and while they tend to fade behind the music, they are worth listening for.
Creation shows Nina Hynes’ potential, but they aren’t there yet. While it will be great what to see what they do next, Creation is not a complete success except to show what they do next.