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CD REVIEW: Lisa DeBenedictis - Tigers
By Lennon Bone - 02/07/2006 - 07:41 PM EST

Artist: Lisa DeBenedictis
Album: Tigers
CD Review: Artist: Lisa DeBenedictis (

Album: Tigers

Rating: 79%

Rating Key: 0 - 19% (It hurt to listen) 20 - 29% (Awful) 30 - 39% (Bad) 40 - 49% (Almost average) 50 - 59% (Average) 60 - 69% (Good, but has problems) 70 - 79% (A good record) 80 - 89% (You must check it out!) 90 - 95% (Best I’ve heard in a long time!) 95 - 100% (Incredible! Nothing like it!)

Upon the first listen, which is usually when I do these reviews - Lisa’s music puts you in a semi-hypnotic state of mind. With her very sparse, and unusual arrangements you listen with anticipation of wondering what’s going to come next. What kind of sound is going to bring in the next build? Where is the next verse going to take us? The vocal quality can be likened to a female counterpart of Iron and Wine, and the instrumentation that comes across as a bit too “Casio” for my taste are quickly tied in with some sort of spacey pad or synth sound to bring it all together.

Lyrically her music is driven by depression and angst… but she never lets the arrangements fall far from that at the risk of losing the impact that the song could have. An immediate stand out track in the record is “Pull Up The Shade”. It’s unusual tones and countermelody’s smartly weave in and out of tempo changes and go from straight forward, to almost ragtime feels without you thinking twice if that was supposed to happen or not. “Ocean in Her Head” is another stand out number, with a groovin lo-fi loop accompanied by handclaps and bells that seem the could be coming from one of those freaky movies about dead children.

I think the thing that impresses me the most about this record is the fact that Lisa is brave enough to do what she wants with her arrangements, and smart enough to make them enjoyable to the listener at the same time. I’m not going to lie, there are some very unusual aspects to Lisa’s music - but in this case that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, it’s a trophy for everyone to take home with them when they buy this record.

The weakest portions of the record come with the need to be in a certain mood to really take in and enjoy what Lisa is doing and saying with “Tigers”. Her talent will be apparent to anyone, but to get the full effect will take just the right moment… maybe that one just before you go to bed - after having been up for 26 hours, and you haven’t talked to anyone in 15 of those. Your head is clear, and you’re the most open to what anyone might have to say. If you get the chance - make that person Lisa - at least once.

Lisa plays all the instruments on this full length record, and is now working on a promotional campaign to support “Tigers”.

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