Lucy Bland â€“ Down To Sea Level / 2008 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.lucybland.com /
The slightly electronic instrumentation that immediately comes forth during the somewhat-titular track (â€œSea Levelâ€) provides listeners with an interesting counterpoint to the dreamy vocals of Bland during the track. While the music present during this track will provide listeners with something to zone out to, the chance that the track could make it to radio rotation is slight. There is nothing wrong with Blandâ€™s introductory track, but there seems to be something missing that Bland may latch upon during any one of the discâ€™s next nine tracks.
The intricate guitar work that starts out â€œVeniceâ€ is a nice new addition to Blandâ€™s disc, while the meandering pacing of the track links together the first few offerings from Bland. The track is quaint, but it still feels as if there is something structural that is missing for full engagement and enjoyment of â€œDown To Sea Levelâ€. While the momentum of â€œThe Bridgeâ€ is similar to the previous two tracks on the disc, the arrangements of the instruments on the track are what really brings â€œDown To Sea Levelâ€ to the next level. The vibrant and energetic vocals that come to prominence during the trackâ€™s chorus further establish this song as Lucy Blandâ€™s first single-worthy hit on â€œDown To Sea Levelâ€.
Things slow back down for â€œFly Awayâ€, with a more Spartan sense of instrumental arrangement the norm during the song. I understand the need to tie together all of the tracks on the disc, but it seems as an flair towards experimentation is what really is needed for â€œDown To Sea Levelâ€ to be an unqualified success. The Â tracks here are all decent on their own right, but there just does not seem to be a number of tracks that will cause individuals to remember who exactly Lucy Bland is after listening to this CD. Subsequent releases by Bland should look to take on different influences and styles; if this is done, the talent that is present with all sections of this disc will more readily shine. My suggestion: go see Lucy Bland live and see if there is anything new and different about the band in that locale and, barring that, give their next set of recordings a listen and see if they have changed things up by then. They have talent and do show it at points during â€œDown To Sea Levelâ€, but the impressive tracks are sadly few and far between here.
Top Tracks: Sea Level, Valor