Reviewed by Sarah Vasquez.
If you’re going to include in your press release that someone “has a beautiful voice, her vocal range is amazing, her songs are dreamy and magical…,” I’m expecting to be wowed by the music in question. Unfortunately, in Holly Miranda’s debut album The Magician’s Private Library, her “amazing” range was never proven to me.
Miranda does have a beautiful voice that falls into the same class as Cat Power and Jem (the Welsh singer, not the cartoon). Unlike these artists, it’s her monotonous delivery that keeps The Magician’s Private Library from distinguishing her from her fellow indie songstresses.
That doesn’t mean the album isn’t enjoyable. The press release did get some things right. The songs are dreamy and magical. Miranda hauntingly croons along to the airy lullabies. Songs are filled with dainty bells and ambient keyboards to accentuate the illusion of floating, and a brass section is blended in to brighten the somber mood.
However, this type of free-flowing music isn’t something I would want to witness live for 45 minutes as I stand on my feet. Unless Miranda adds some energy and oomph to her live performances, these tunes are better enjoyed relaxed in a chair or providing the soundtracks to my dreams.
Red River rating: 7 out of 10