Scarlet Season falls flat with The Taxidermist, resorting to cheesy metaphors and cliché angst-rock beats.
It’s nice to have a female pop singer today who doesn’t sound like Regina Spector, but it’s also a letdown that Regina Spector’s songwriting brightly outshines her. Aileen Paron, the Seattle native known as Scarlet Season, does a stellar impression of Tori Amos, crying her lyrics and ending notes with that signature breathy gasp, so it’s unfortunate that her lyrics and music can’t match the intensity of her voice. She’s desperate to be poetic, using metaphors such as “The safety’s off / I’m cocked and ready,” which make her emotions reek of phoniness. Props to Paron for releasing this LP herself, but it can’t go unnoticed that her over-the-top angst-rock percussion tries too hard to resemble Jem...and fails. The Taxidermist is about preserving the remains of a dead relationship, but it seems much more ample that Scarlet Season preserve the little life that’s expressed here.