There's a great album kicking and screaming to get out here. But the production never lets that happen, its electronic clash and murky blare just too attention grabbing. It's quite a departure for singer Zara McFarlane usually far more at home with a pared back rhythm section. Her songs are far more interesting than what producers Kwake Bass and Wu-lu have contributed. On one significant level this is a folkloric exploration of Jamaican traditions with its death rituals and celebrations, McFarlane's voice a clarion call among all the sonic clutter around swirling her. However, there is no real intimacy and the experimentalism seems to have lost sight of the essential necessity of making a connection with the listener. Shame really but one of these days McFarlane will surely come up with the classic album that we all know she is capable of creating. For now just go back to If You Knew Her which is by far her best work to date.
Tags: Album reviews