Review by Annar Veröld.
Lelia Broussard’s style in her new album, Masquerade, expresses the heart of the songstress in versatile ways. The album travels from singer-songwriter, to indie rock, and then to an indie-jazz style with her sultry voice, providing a range of diversity from song to song.
The album begins with the title track, “Masquerade”, a catchy and upbeat song with which the audience is exposed to the Lelia’s songwriting skills and powerful voice. Following is Lelia’s fun album single, “Satellite”. From the beginning of the album, listeners get a taste of Lelia Broussard’s potential. However, the rest of the album dives into an instant miss.
Songs such as “Something true”, “You’re not fooling anyone” and “Heart Collectors” sound as if they would be perfect for wrapping up a season finale for a locally televised drama. Unfortunately, “Spiderwebs”, “Rosey” and “Shoot for the moon” are nothing particularly special or different from what you can find being performed in your local bar on a Monday night.
The album has a song co-written by Rob Fusari (who has produced work with Lady Gaga and Beyonce), and features production by Dan Romer (who has worked closely with Ingrid Michaelson and Bess Rogers). Dan Romer’s influence is evident in the sense that Broussard sounds just like every other singer-songwriter he has produced.
Sadly, the greatest fault is that the band does not match up to the artist’s voice. Without a doubt, Broussard can carry her own rather well during an acoustic performance; however, the band does not reflect the same talent as the voice of the songstress. Throughout the album, it sounds as though the instruments are Broussard’s weak and lagging sidekick.
Lelia Broussard has a beautiful voice, but listening to this album is like looking someone steady in the eyes as they lie to you—it feels annoyingly degrading. Whatever it is the album is trying to express, it doesn’t quite sell it. Regardless, the playful rhythms, simple performance, and decent lyrics make it tolerable for “close-to-mute,-but-still-loud-enough-to-not-feel-lonely” study music on an average Tuesday night. Though pleasant and bearable, generally, the album is nothing inspiring, and tragically short of a masterpiece.