English singer Tirzah (Mastin) debuted with the
EPs I'm Not Dancing (2013) and No Romance (2014),
followed by the single Make It Up (2015).
Her pop-soul acquired elegance and depth on
Devotion (2018), produced by Mica Levi,
with the moribund Gladly and songs like
Devotion that sound like religious hymns.
Colourgrade (2021) belongs to the category of futuristic post-pop
with the likes of Laurie Anderson
rather than to pop or soul.
She mumbles the somnolent blues Colourgrade amid chirping synth noise
and the slo-core elegy Sleeping over distorted guitar noises
(like a very "stoned" rendition of the Cowboy Junkies' Misguided Angel).
She hardly sings at all over the minimal techno beat of Tectonic,
and her voice is reduced to a guttural moan in the
six-minute psych-folk dirge Crepuscular Rays.
Songs like Hive Mind blur the line between the trivial and the eccentric.
The beats tend to be banal, but their goal is to hypnotize not entertain.
The real problem is the quality of the songs. There are cute ideas, but seldom
realized: most of the albums flows as a parade of sketches.
Most songs seem to end abruptly when they just started coalescing.
Imagine if the songs of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks were all cut at
the three or four minute mark.
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