LP releases another LP
Laura Pergolizzi, LP, released her fifth studio album on December 7th to close out 2018 with an indie pop, emotional digression on dreams. Heart to Mouth screams like atonal desperation to be noticed and heard–hence the very truth of its title.
Heart to Mouth begins with a promising rhythmic melody to lull listeners into a trance, but this lullaby is soon interrupted by the strained voice of Laura Pergolizzi. Against a backdrop of alternative pop, LP sounds familiar and her music overproduced with vocals that cringe.
Pergolizzi’s Heart to Mouth lacks grit and musical authenticity; but with LP’s fearless attitude towards music production and lyrical composition, she found a successful songwriting career for iconic bands like the Backstreet Boys and pop celebrities as famous as Rihanna. With both experience AND success in various genres, LP’s leaning stature towards indie rock over other genres seems dull and overdone. Pergolizzi might be more successful following a blues-rock sound like Janis Joplin with her raspy, angular voice; better yet, Pergolizzi’s song-writing skills might lend themselves better to a poetic career like Patti Smith.
Over the course of five studio albums, LP has curated an image of originality, whether it be merely skin deep with her androgynous aesthetic or if creative genius runs through her blood. However, Heart to Mouth sounds replicable and standard for rock pop, as ordinary melodies purr and hum along with LP’s howling voice–her voice fragile in the face of real rock and roll. And not all listeners are keen to classic rock with a folk-pop twinge, unless it is Stevie Nicks on the mic.
2015 release “Lost on You” ranked no. 1 on the charts in various countries, which will remain unmatched by Heart to Mouth because the album collectively is less impressive than the single alone. There is no doubt Laura Pergolizzi maintains her talent for song-writing, but Heart to Mouth will leave you unsure about the faltering importance of originality in pop music.
The whistling in “Girls Go Wild” sounds like an ode to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ pop-rock classics, and the echoing falsetto sounds like an amateur sound-engineered cover of a pop song. Pergolizzi’s voice in “Recovery” holds its own, driving the song forward with raw emotional and creative expression. While her lyrical rhythm flows with learned expertise, the building piano mirrors any formulaic pop ballad.
Pergolizzi’s voice often sounds melodramatic and scattered, overcompensating for a lack of originality in her music. The hoppy drums and scooping melodies in “The Power” shatter the monotony of the album, and Pergolizzi blindly sings along karaoke-style. Heart to Mouth ebbs and flows with musical value. “House on Fire” and “Die For Your Love” begin with promising combinations of catchy vocals and alternative rock instrumentation, but soon the dynamic qualities are drowned out by overproduction. “Shaken” is basically just an indie rock version of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Up,” while “Special” undoubtedly draws from the distorted drum intro of Slowdive’s “Star Roving.”
LP unapologetically follows the pop formula for hits but seems to copy and paste melodic motifs without original stylistic edits. Heart to Mouth is saturated with potential pop hits, but the inconsistency of the collective sound limits the growth of LP as an artist.