Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From Australia With Love & Sugar- Lenka

I remember briefly brushing past a blurb on Australian native Lenka in a magazine a few weeks back and not paying it much thought. I believe the write-up mentioned her in relation to Bjork, who, sorry, I'm afraid I have never had much of a taste for.

While I was watching Grey's Anatomy last week, I heard the sweetest little ditty in the closing scene. A few keystrokes later, I learned the song was "Trouble Is A Friend," and the singer was none other than that singer I passed over as a Bjork-Feist knock-off.

However, after purchasing her delightfully poppy self-titled album, I discovered that, aside from gender, Lenka is in fact not at all like either of these femme fatales. Where Bjork revels in obscurities and off-beat rhythms, Lenka's sound is rooted in accessible and hook-filled pop songs. Where Feist like to add a jazzy or understated element to her music, Lenka's tunes are straight-forward and often embellished with charming bells and whistles.

On album opener "The Show," Lenka sings about her life as if it is a carnival- a theme highlighted by the twee, carousel-esque glockenspiels and the pleasingly childish rhythm. On "Don't Let Me Fall," plucky strings complement Lenka's soft voice and smooth chorus. Occasionally, Lenka does venture into cloying and too-sweet territory, such as on the schmaltzy "Live Like Your Dying."

Overall, Lenka is a perfectly lovely album, and just that. Because sometimes a perfectly lovely album is just what the doctor ordered.

Album Highlights: "Trouble is a Friend," "We Will Not Grow Old," "Don't Let Me Fall," "Knock Knock"
Also: Check out Lenka's stellar cover of Modest Mouse's "Gravity Rides Everything," available on her MySpace.

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