Sleepy Tunes in the Lillith Tradition
Nashville-based Brooke Annibale’s new EP, Words in Your Eyes signifies a journey away from acoustic folk pop and into “electric sound mixed with ambient sensibilities.” A nice idea, for sure, and the execution is both careful and pleasant. The difficulty with this genre is unless something is profoundly special about the singer’s voice, it becomes kind of a wash. Yes, it’s beautiful, but beautiful in the way that suits yoga classes, CW Dramas and the Twilight soundtrack. You can almost hear the vampires kissing their innocent mortal girlfriends. To put it bluntly: it’s pretty…boring.
Brooke Annibale’s sound is female singer-songwriter in the Lillith tradition – echoes of Sarah MacLachlan, Paula Cole and Shawn Colvin ripple brightly through her work. Her voice is lovely, as warm and rich as a just-baked chocolate cake. Slightly folksier “You Don’t Know,” is a track to watch – a sparse electric guitar riff drives along to meet a swelling, sparkling orchestral section. The title track is a nice one as well, with more creeping and tension-building strings, and Annibale lofting vocals toward the top of her range.
Unfortunately, as much “nice” and “pretty” as these six songs pack, Words in Yours Eyes is a bit of a been-there-done-that effort. The Lillith vibe has been revisited succesfully in recent years – Dark Dark Dark and Bat for Lashes do a damn fine job of spinning the Girls’ Girl genre on its’ head. But it’s exactly that – a special sound, a unique turn of phrase, or the true X factor (reality competition definitions aside) – that Annibale is lacking here. Her musical talent and skill level is obvious, but this record is too safe and too mellow to separate her from the pack. The record is by no means bad. It’s just not very interesting.