ALBUM REVIEW: “Blonde Album” by Lightning Love
Hello. How are you? Do you like comfortable but guarded small talk with a work acquaintance? Walking from your semi-close-but-not-right-in-front parking spot to your destination on a sunny spring day? Waiting in the drive through line for mid-level fast food at 3AM (KFC being the lowest ranked fast food and In&Out the highest, naturally)? Yes? This could be your new favorite album.
Allow me to explain. All of the above scenarios describe activities which are pleasant enough, but still require slightly too much personal effort to “get through.” Such is the case with the newest installment from Lightning Love, Blonde Album. Picture the flirty vocal sweetness of The Cardigans‘ singer Nina Persson but without the dark edge. The absence of necessary contrast in the sound’s foundation leaves the bright, chirpy pop of Blonde Album a little flat after a few tracks and lacking in emotional credibility. Lead singer Leah Diehl surely had it rough when dealing with the heartbreak her lyrics allude to but since the lyrics were also superficial and cheeky, we were left wanting.
There are satisfying elements as well, and our hope is that these will find their way into the next Lightning Love project. The organ on the track “Deadbeat” was a refreshing change up from piano. Diehl’s vocals on the stripped down “I’ll Never Love No One Else” are nakedly sad. The duet element of “Bobby Thompson” is skillful, catchy, and allowed for the lyrics to shine. The album has a metronome-like quality, but “Bobby Thompson” makes the sound work. Lastly, the vocal hook on “So Easy” is the most catchy song Diehl recorded for the album. The bemused way she describes her frustration and acceptance of repeating a pattern in love is simple and effective. All in all a solid early album from a band with potential.