Review: Lisa Lavie – Everything or Nothing
Lisa Lavie’s voice is the aural equivalent of a mouthful of your favorite brand of peanut butter; it’s pleasant enough to be tasty, but it’s heavy enough to make you weary. And it requires minimal instrumentation, which justifies Everything or Nothing’s obvious absence of any up-tempo, club-ready tracks. Her guttural, soul-drenched voice plows through an album full of ballads and mid-tempos; filling every song with the emotion and sincerity that keeps the energy of the album high, even when the tempo is low.
Lisa’s voice effortlessly travels from night to day; channeling the featherweight highs of Mariah Carey and the masculine lows of Tracy Chapman. It really doesn’t take much to realize Lavie is something special and has the kind of gift that won’t let her quit, even if she ever wants to. She’s the kind of singer who could get away with releasing covers of classics for the rest of her life, but, instead, chose to reward us with an album full of original material.
Everything or Nothing doesn’t exactly scream #1 hit, but, in the days where an artist like Leona Lewis can own the charts, there is definitely potential for this to be a surprise breakthrough for her. The production is strong, the lyrics are stronger, and the voice is ridiculous. Some songs may do well on the radio (“Angel”, “Falling for You”, “You Walked Away”, “Can’t Sleep at Night”, “Maple Leafs”), but they won’t exactly fit in. However, they will hold their ground in a market full of famous artists who sound vacant singing after her.
This album isn’t perfect. Some songs just don’t work (“I Remember When”, “I See You Staring”, “If I Only Knew”); mostly due to over instrumentation. But Everything or Nothing is a successful debut and has positioned Lisa Lavie for a steady climb to the top.
KEEPERS: “Save Your Breath”, “Maple Leafs”, “You Walked Away”, “Everything or Nothing”, “Angel”, “Falling for You”, “Find Me an Angel”, “Can’t Sleep at Night”, “Only Heaven Will Know”