|Review: Lizban - Talking to Myself|
Monday, 11 April 2011 22:50
I recently received an email promoting yet another talent competition. Yes, apparently there aren’t enough. The structure is similar to that of Idols but only utilising Web 2.0 technology to market the campaign.
Contestants post videos on the site, get friends to vote for them and then the top “x” amount get to perform live at some event that will take place in Johannesburg (I didn’t pay much attention to the details).
After wasting 2 minutes listening to two kids murdering Hey there Delilah by the Plain White T’s, I decided to click on the most viewed video on the site.
The video was submitted by Lizban and the song was Stay.
It took her one verse to hook me into the song. One song to start Googling her name to find out if there is more to this voice than one song. After finding minimal information online, I jumped over to the Nokia Music Store and hit the jackpot.
Lizban’s debut album Talking to Myself was there and ready for me to download and dive into.
Haunting familiar voices
Lizban caught my attention because of her haunting female rock voice. Something that is missing from modern music. On Stay, we hear traces of Alanis Morrisette and when she moves into more upbeat songs like Holding On there are choruses that remind me of The Cranberries. Through familiar voices, Lizban pulls you into the song with daunting lyrics.
Having performed abroad in London, Chicago and Dubai, local concert supporters might have seen Lizban during performances with Arno Carstens, Jesse Clegg and Stealing Love Jones to name a few. Prior to knowing this I felt that the album did carry a live feel to it. It is almost like the songs where written for the stage and not just to record an album.
According to Lizban, most of the songs start out as rough acoustics number that keep their original structure in the final form. Working with producer Crighton Goodwill, the album received final tweaking at Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia.
Being a guitarist herself, one can hear that a lot of attention was given to keep the album guitar driven. Songs like Mapbook and Runaway sticks to the classic acoustic filled verses, with a build-up to an edgier chorus. My favourite song from this album is without a doubt Pillow Case. With its piano intro, slow beat and strumming guitars, Lizban gives a magnificent vocal performance that showcase a range that a few artists can achieve.
Personally I would love to see this album performed live. Better yet, an acoustic performance.
Yay or nay
I need to be honest and say that from a production and final mix perspective, this is not the best work.
However, this is why I love this album.
We have a South African artist that does not need studio gimmicks to impress. Even with some processed sound coming through from time to time, the album has a very organic feel to it. It’s like you are sitting in the recording studio listening to a perfectly executed performance.
With Mnet’s Idols starting soon, some of you might find yourself spending your hard earned cash to vote some Mickey Mouse pop princess into the final 10. I urge you to rather take your money and download Lizban’s Talking to Myself.
I should not have discovered Lizban on some pathetic website. The radio stations and AR reps should have told me about this amazing artist who writes her own songs and has an incredible voice, but they didn’t. They are too busy selling us popcorn music while real music and real artists are out there promoting themselves.
Support South African music. Support Lizban and I predict the next album is going to be a killer.
Enough said... yay.
Buy album here for R100.
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