Back in 2008, Lettie released two albums in quick succession: one acoustic, the other falling in to an alt-pop/electronic area. The latter was the better prospect with Lettie delivering more than enough personality and idiosyncracies to prove that she wasn’t just another ice queen with a great set of arrangers. Since then both Lettie and her producer experienced personal tragedy which contributed to the delay of her latest album ‘Good Fortune, Bad Weather’.
Initially Lettie comes across as a childlike (possibly childish) purveyor of pop music. There is a definite sense of her sound moving in to the mainstream and tracks like ‘Lucky’ with its piano stomp and nostalgically upbeat exterior, certainly impress. Where the album does slip a bit is in its cheery, shiny exterior and there are too few songs which offer darker shades. ‘Never Want To Be Alone’, ‘Digital’, ‘Fitter’ are so slick they sound like the product of a songwriting factory rather than the songwriter herself.
Nevertheless, Lettie is a great talent and there’s enough here to verify that fact. ‘Sanctuary’ is a cracking track with a dreamy yet captivating hook for a chorus and ‘Pandora’ possesses a reggae lilt that would have fitted perfectly on previous record ‘Age Of Solo’. Meanwhile, there’s a clever switch from ‘Mister Lighter’s acoustic strum to the most artificial song of the lot but ‘Aluminium Man’ is actually terrifically catchy – albeit in a cold, Teutonic way – and proves to be an album highlight.
Although Lettie’s lyrics and appearance are resolutely quirky, a chunk of her material seem to have been compromised in the name of throwaway pop, even if it’s throwaway pop of a superior variety. Ultimately, there’s a very solid thirty minute album here but the line between serious artist and pop frontwoman is a tad confusing.
Stina Nordenstam, Sarah Nixey, Princess Chelsea