Friday, May 26, 2017

Lost on You | LP

Upon first listen to her dingy spaghetti western of an album, it's hard to imagine that singer-songwriter LP has managed to swing some writing credits in albums from some of the biggest names of mainstream pop. In the past ten years, she's found her name in the listings for albums from Rihanna, Cher, and the Backstreet Boys – well, 2007 Backstreet Boys, not the top-of-their-game 1999 Backstreet Boys, but I digress.

Then again, it's hard to believe that the title track of Lost on You lit up airwaves across Europe last year. With its humid guitar strums, heavy beats, and singalong melody line, "Lost on You" is the sticky embodiment of what to expect from its parent album. Though it's an earworm of a song, its ignorance of current radio trends makes it an unlikely candidate to top the charts in a flurry of countries.

But if stripped of the refreshing production tactics that give her the illusion of singing from amid a slew of desert heat haze, LP is a pop songwriter through-and-through. She knows how to complement the most defining features of her shrill soprano voice – its raggedness in lower parts of its range, its strength through higher belts, and its ability to cut through all sonic environments. She proves time and time again that her voice is a force to be reckoned with, from her cutting wails over the bellows of the haunting "Muddy Waters" to the nonchalant, conversational delivery of "Death Valley."

While she may have knack for pop – and an appreciation for it, at that, as she name-checks songs from Shakira and Britney Spears on "When We're High" – all-out powerhouse pop really isn't where her heart resides: she's really a rock 'n roll spirit with pop smarts. Her record, while a pop one, is a pop one masqueraded with a crossbreed of sonic influences, pulling from '70s rock, western, folk, and modern alternative pop – and apparently, that's the formula for success.

Lost on You is available now under Vagrant Records.

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