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CD REVIEW: Elisa Lovelie - Undertow
By Cyrus Rhodes - 04/04/2013 - 03:45 PM EDT

Artist: Elisa Lovelie
Album: Undertow
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/Spanish folk
Sounds Like: Garbage, Pat Benatar, Lita Ford and The Go Go’s, Belinda Carlisle, Alannah Myles
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Black and Blue, Make up Your Mind, Try,
Weakness: None
CD Review: NYC BASED POP ROCKERS ELISA LOVELIE & THE DEVICE DRAW ON THEIR RICH CLASSICAL BACKGROUNDS TO CREATE AN ORCHESTRAL FOLK/ROCK HYBRID ON THEIR STIRRING, GENRE-TRANSCENDING DEBUT EP UNDERTOW. Elisa Lovelie is anything but your conventional lead singer. Drawing on years of classical/opera training and passion for heavy rock, paired with a penchant for long dresses and a drive to create compelling songs and infectious hooks that transcend any simple genre categorization, the multi-talented 20 year old performer is ready to take the world by storm. Like one of her idols, iconic pop/rocker Pat Benatar, this NYC based vocalist and songwriter has big aspirations, and the powerhouse voice to fulfill them.

The CD takes flight with “I Don’t Need You” a  rocking intro groove that serves up methodical intro eventually evolving into impressive song meshed against passionate energy, captivating strings and a hard hitting vocal groove with lyrics that hit hard. Track 2 “Black and Blue” presents a dynamic piece that serves up eloquent intro, passionate melody with heartfelt vocals from Lovelie that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Make up Your Mind” delivers a tantalizing Spanish piece with impressive guitar and strings, rhythm section, impressive vocal melody and earthy flair. The production quality is impressive. and the musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Besides the typical 4 piece rock standard along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like well-placed strings, dynamic rhythm section, Spanish Guitars, percussive accnents, and a few solos here and there combined with lush harmonies layered everywhere. The rhythm section (drums and percussion) push the natural accents well. Now turning our attention over to Lovelie - as for her vocal abilities she is quite impressive. Her vocal style is cut from the cloth of Garbage, Pat Benatar, The Go Go’s, Belinda Carlisle, Tori Amos and Alannah Myles. It definitely works well within the confines of this catalogue which is reminiscent of alternative pop rock popular in the late 80’s and early 90's. I can also hear a modern day Alternative Rock influence in there as well. Lovelie’s impressive vibrato, falsetto and overall vocal passion clearly hit the mar, indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This is an amazing quality that not many artists can execute flawlessly. This X-Factor quality clearly makes Lovelie’s a marquee talent. From passionate “When the Tide Goes Down”, and “Try” to hypnotic Fire and Icicles” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 6 “Fire and Icicles” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this.

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this EP.

From start to finish Undertow an impressive catalogue of music. The music is highly passionate, uplifting, and slightly mysterious. The songwriting is an interesting snapshot of music from a clairvoyant artist that has a lot to offer. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is rock solid and extremely consistent. The writing and playing abilities of Lovelie and her band are rock solid. Last but not least her vocal abilities are world class. She's an infectious artist, one would be wise to keep a watchful eye on her over the years to come.   

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