Thursday, November 6, 2014

Indie Music: Anne-Simone "Bittersweet"

by Germar Derron

I tend to not review a project, when I have nothing good to say. I'm not worried about your reaction to my reactions.  I’m not concerned about hurting someone’s feelings. It’s like when you do those evaluations in school, and give teachers you love all fives and teachers you hate all ones. Well, the smart people that evaluate your evaluations know to completely disregard the all-ones and all-fives.  No one is that bad, or that good, at anything, except for me and I'm not saying whether I’m bad or good. So, when I have nothing good to say, I feel like the project is obviously not for me; I abstain.  I really really should not write this review.

If I knew Anne-Simone, I’d tell her, “don't release this project.”  I know.  I've been there.  And I did release our project and it’s out there—my great shame—for all eternity. Bittersweet is supposed to be an uplifting futuristic- indie- electro- pop debut masterpiece. It sounds more like, “nah brah.” Personally, I hear talent—wasted. But maybe it sounds exactly like it should. 

If Anne-Simone goes on to have a stellar music career, this album and music video will be digitally dusted off by a late night host. She'll blush and tell stories about how inexperienced she was.  

Each track sounds generic--every kind of generic. They sound like electro-pop and indie-pop demos on a Yamaha keyboard from 2023 (because those demos are always 20 years old). It reminds me of the fuzzy familiarity of K-pop. It sounds familiar, but then you realize it's not English, but you know the melody anyway. It's like that, but not nearly as good, and in English.

When I listen to anything pre-1980, I cannot ignore all the pitch problems. Some of those Motown orchestras sounded like nails on chalkboards and cats in heat. Almost all of the vocals were just close enough apparently. Somehow, those tuning issues, sharp low notes, and flat high notes seem purposeful, and charming. But this isn't the 60s. This is pen tools and Auto-tune, note detection and unlimited tracks.  I’m not sure if the “pitchiness” is purposeful, but it’s not delightful. It’s nothing like Michael’s slight bends.  It’s painful, and exaggerated in the slower pieces. 

I'll give this two of five stars, because I know why I shouldn't give it one.


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