It was barely six months ago when I wrote a review of Aube Lalvée’s last album, the stirring, melodramatic ‘Souls To The Wind’. The record had some excellent moments even though Lalvée’s vocal histrionics needed reining in on occasions. Certainly, ‘I Am’ is a noticeably more subdued experience.
‘Something Simple’ is one of the louder tracks on the record. It features a threatening rumble at its core which is reminiscent of early gothic acts on the 4AD label (particularly The Wolfgang Press) but Lalvée herself is content to be brooding here. For ‘Love’ we hear her wounded cries, ‘Kiss Me’ is weighed down with self doubt but the effect is leavened by one of the album’s strongest melodies.
Subversive talent that she is though, there are songs here which have an improvised feel as the flow and the structure of the track meanders in to something completely different; the quasi-classical title track being a case in point. Yet it’s perhaps telling that ‘We Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Let Me Go’ are built around stabbing keyboard riffs and their simplistic approach yields more satisfying moments.
Lalvée has certainly toned down the theatrics but this is still a very emotional record. Whereas ‘Souls To The Wind’ was partally defined by angry arrangements, here the sense of vulnerability is far more apparent. The average listener’s attention may waver from time to time but this is undoubtedly a progression.
Ragga And The Jack Magic Orchestra, Anna Calvi, The Wolfgang Press