Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Glass Child - I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die

Let’s be honest, the life of a music reviewer isn’t one that’s laden with too many perks. Granted, we get to hear many albums prior to release date and get kept in the loop a little bit more than the general public on musical happenings here and there but we’re also tasked with meeting deadlines, trying to write intelligently about the albums, and are constantly on the lookout for new synonyms to color our reviews. Add in the stellar pay rate (sarcasm fully intended) and you might find yourself wondering while we even bother, right?

Artists like The Glass Child are exactly why reviewers keep writing, for the sheer opportunity to run across an artist with such great promise that you’re sure to find yourself saying one day, “Yeah, I was listening to them back in the day.” Yes, friends, The Glass Child and her latest release, I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die is that type of album, the elusive diamond in the rough that helps keep reviewers like me going when all the music threatens to sound the same.
Yes, kids, it’s a great album and is one you’ll be glad to give a listen to when you get a chance.
The Glass Child, better known to her friends and family as Charlotte Eriksson, is an artist who gives new life to the concept of fully believing in her dream, leaving home at the tender age of eighteen to move to London, dedicating herself mind, body, and soul to her craft. And over four years, largely due to her ability to harness the power of social media, the artist has released five EPs and a full length record, scored high on the charts, and is now set to release her latest offering, I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die.
Eriksson operates in a creative space that’s very alternative pop, drawing favorable comparisons to artists like Florence and the Machine and Paramore yet her sound is still resolutely hers as listeners will find through the thirteen tracks found here. Her voice is strong and resolute, her phrasing beyond her years, giving her a stiff leg up on the competition as she delivers soulful takes all along the way.
“The Fall” is an instant hit right off the bat with great lyrics like “I never knew that love could be/This much pain and misery” while surrounded by emotive keyboards and a warm, acoustic-based arrangement that frames the artist’s voice perfectly. Some eclectic percussion infuses “Heroes” before the artist lets loose and lets the rock out, her voice showing its full range and impressing while “Yesterday” showcases her voice against an acoustic guitar backdrop, her passion evident throughout.
“I’m Hidden So Well” is an inviting contrast between subdued tones and rocking notes, fueled with raging guitars and pounding guitars while “Winter Girls” is pleasingly experimental and atmospheric, hitting a stride at the end that presses things forward to the end. A poignant piano intro lays the groundwork for that ultimate question of youth, “Who Am I,” infusing some near reggae tones within before “London” offers up more acoustic vibes.
Relational angst colors the pulsing beat of “The Water’s Edge,” resounding guitar threads providing extra emotion as “Running Up That Hill” showcases Eriksson’s vocal creativity, layering vocals over against a sparse piano lead that is one of the more intriguing tracks to be found here. “Who I’ve Grown to Be” celebrates the artist’s journey to this point, breathing in the victory of her accomplishments and hard work with humility and honesty while “I Took His Smile Away” is a rocking explosion tempered by moments of quiet, Eriksson’s voice haunting. Things arrive at a close with an unplugged version of “The Water’s Edge,” still powerful in its stripped down setting and acoustic track, “Lonely In This Love,” which ends things on a high note.
I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die is a great album from a wonderfully promising artist. If the Fates go the way of justice, this is an artist that we’ll all be glad to say that we were listening to back in the day for the road is bright ahead of this budding star.

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