[26 October 2006]
The one word that defines Christina Carter’s new album Electrice is atmosphere. Recorded with the gimmick of using the same key and the same guitar tuning on every song, the album transcends these gimmicks and creates an interesting world of noise. Carter manages to create an album full of twists and turns, some going in wonderfully exciting directions, others going seemingly nowhere. It is an album of sounds and moods, not of individual songs.
There are only four songs on the disc. The first song, “Second Death”, makes use of harmonic vocals that are incomprehensible and haunting, creating an atmosphere of desolation and confusion. One guitar strums powerfully in the background. The lyrics, something about words and death, are vapid and meaningless. Yet, the way the song wraps around itself and overwhelms the words until there are just dissonant sounds by the song’s end creates a sense of life and excitement.
This track is followed by “Moving Intercepted”, the most lyrically abundant and personal song on the track. Carter’s voice is more prominent on this track, and it evidences the sort of existential crisis that comes out in the lyrics. Lyrically speaking, the album is not the strongest you’ll find. But there is something striking about the beat poetry spoken by the haunting voice that fits with the general mood of loneliness the disc creates.
“Yellow Pine” comes next, and it’s Electrice‘s most striking song. The lyrics create a sense of the absurd, the words “yellow pine, pine, pine, all the time” meaning nothing, yet everything at the same time. They suggest that the song isn’t about the words, it’s about the sounds, about the distortions that come at the six minute mark, and the soft guitar fade-out that gives the whole song balance and quiet.
The closing track is “Words Are Not My Own”, and, ironically, there are the least amount of words in this song. The soaring “ahs” in the background are enough. The song is a perfect closeout for an album of sparseness. Electrice doesn’t deserve to finish with a bang; rather it deserves a longing moan and a fadeout into silence and loss. It is an album that takes you on a journey. It is a lonely journey, to be sure, one where you don’t know where you’re going, but you feel pretty depressed about it in any case. The music challenges you, takes you places, and that’s really all you can ask sometimes.