Lizzie Weber – Lizzie Weber Review
Lizzie Weber’s debut self-titled album demonstrates the strength and passion of both her songwriting and her voice. Lizzie hails from St Louis, a city with strong musical roots, and Lizzie’s own background in folk and acoustic music has influenced her own transition into a professional musician.
Whilst it may be easy to find touching points (Beth Orton, Norah Jones), Lizzie’s style and delivery is very much her own, and her influences are felt, but not too heavily relied upon. The rasping guitar intro of California drops straight into the lilting arrangement, and Lizzie’s voice comes front and centre, never really leaving your attention throughout the whole record. For the entire course of the album, her vocals are concentrated at the centre of often lush arrangements, often flowing in and out of the music which accompanies them.
Both Lighthouse, and the entire album, is more beguiling than is perhaps immediately obvious – sure, the voice is what stands out, but the songs on the record creep up on you, with their sympathetic arrangements and accompaniments. Safe Distance is set back, sweeping and removed, revealing the intimacy in the isolated and simple vocals. The feeling is one of loneliness mixed with hope, on a song which is soft and deliberately put together, but shows a strength which unites the entire collection.
This Time Around has an understatedly epic intro, with lifting strings drawing you into the song and the story. The performer is faithful to the songs on Lizzie Weber, putting effort in and getting good results out, with a serious tone, but one which is not overdone. The beautiful and slightly more rootsy Catastrophe revolves around an effective saxophone line and shuffling drums, which Lizzie’s voice effortlessly floats over.
The album is full of intimate settings, which allow not only the singer, but also the songs themselves to communicate directly with the listener. Weber’s voice brings to mind Kate Bush and Taylor Swift (although not at the same time), and the work is emotional, gutsy, direct, and effecting, if slightly one-dimensional in that it does tend to stick at one tempo a lot of the time (an exception being the pacier, Latin twist of Sorry Days), but as a collection it hangs together, and works together well.
Lizzie Weber is a confessional record, but one that is very well-handled, never straying into the over-dramatic, but instead homing in on a sound which is personal, powerful, and, at times, perfect.