Friday, September 21st, 2018

All I Know review

Posted on November 12, 2016 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

By Matthew Craig

Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Alejandra O’Leary’s latest album, entitled “All I Know”. As a Portland local, she is a ‘new’ artist in the process of establishing herself as a musician. She describes her music as a combination of, “classic raw rock with a contemporary pop vision.”

Let me start with the things that O’Leary has the opportunity to improve on, as they are trivial and few. Sometimes her vocals can be unclear and harder pronunciation of consonants such as ‘t’ and ‘d’ would lend more confidence to her lyrics at times.

Sometimes, I feel as if she hasn’t decided how to use her voice, in terms of her singing style and specific genre – at times it is dreamy, but not always. I feel it lacks a consistent style, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Lastly, and this may be more of a compliment, the guitar riffs and arpeggios that support many of her songs are not heard well enough.

After listening to this album, I was struck by O’Leary’s incredible talent for songwriting. Her lyrics are thoughtful, with good word choice and enough variation to keep her songs from feeling too “poppy.” Her supporting band is strong, with a tight drummer and bassist keeping the rhythm.

I could not suggest any improvements here, I think the drums and bass are very well played and mixed.The supporting guitar is very well chosen and played, although as noted above it does not stand out as well as it should. O’Leary has a great voice that is well suited to pop music.

All these factors result in an album that is great to pop in for a drive. There’s nothing jarring about any of her music, so I felt no need to skip any songs while listening. Her overall style reminds me a bit of one of my favorite artists, Hospitality. That is not to say they are one in the same or that she is aping Hospitality, but merely that they share some of the same strengths, each with their own completely distinct identity.

In short, I see a lot of promise in O’Leary. I’m excited to see what she does next, and I hope that people reading this will take the time to give her a listen.

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