Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Album Review Natalie Prass- Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass
Natalie Prass
**and1/2 out of *****
One of the deeper and intricate releases to come out and receive mass attention in early 2015 is Natalie Prass self-titled debut album. It is an extremely easy album to listen to but not the simplest to parse for a review. Genre wise the album floats between 70's LA pomp, Nashville based blues, and indie-pop, the song writing is both scattered and yet calm, but the real issue lies in the matching of the instrumentation and Ms. Prass vocals.

Off the bat for a debut everything is pretty impressive but in the past when we reviewed some retro-soul albums we talked about the band and singer not matching up with talent or styles and it happens here.

The music is, simply put, magical. Big strings, lush warm horns a bubbling bass, things are alive and can sound huge. Produced by Matthew E. White things flow along absolutely gloriously, it is one of the best produced albums in some time.

The quirky opening "My Baby Don't Understand Me" is the best song here that, even though it sticks around a minute and a half to long (running 5:10), it is hard to mind in the slightest. Along with the opener the closing Disney-like pop ballad "It's You" pair the music and vocals most successfully, but when "It's You" closes the disk it is hard to tell if the track is serious or Harry Nilsson tongue in cheek?   

It comes down to the fact that Prass sticks to her lithe falsetto through scorching horn swell, rhythm shake or string climax to her determent. For "Your Fool" and especially in it's accompanying "Reprise" her clipped phrasing is more distant and cold then heartbroken and challenged; Natalie does not sing the blues.

A track like "Christy" plays like a modern day "Jolene" but without the burning intensity from it's vocals. "Bird of Prey" is a song focused around stalker like obsession but the sweet tone of Prass bird like flutter juxtaposes the lyrics and the drop on a dime perfect instrumentation of horn work, sparse drums and swelling soft soul.

Basically if you enjoy Natalie's voice this album could be one of the betters of 2015, but for us the matching didn't work, but we will certainly be waiting to see where White puts his producing talents next.
A little surprised this disk is getting as much love as it has, but to each their own.

Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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