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Lily Frost

Retro-Moderne

Review by Gary Hill

This new set from Toronto-based artist Lily Frost is strong. It has a nice blend of Americana (largely from the guitar sounds) and pop music from various eras along with other elements. I have to say that I'd probably like it better if it focused more on the echoey Americana aspect of the song, but that's just me. What we have here is particularly effective and interesting music that really works well from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Wild Is the Wind
Cool, echoey Americana turned artsy opens this piece. The vocals come in over the top, creating a vibe that seems as if it would fit in the theme song to a James Bond movie. The understated musical backdrop really lets the vocal shine. The guitar, distorted and still echoey, rises up in a more screaming version of the arrangement further down the road. It drops back down again for the return of the vocals to close the number.
Lay Low
I dig the keyboard textures on this thing. There is a prominent percussion element here. This has more of a modern pop music vibe to it. That cool Americana guitar is still on board here. While this is pop-oriented, it avoids the over-production and over-processed vocals that are so common in that genre. I definitely prefer the sound of the opener, but this is classy, too.
Reckless Corazón
There are elements of Latin music here. This lands even further in the pop music vein. The echoey guitar still brings some of that Americana thing to play.
Irresistible
A mellower, old-time based sound is on display here. I like the guitar solo on this tune a lot. This has a real 1950s or 1960s pop vibe. Thing Nancy Sinatra, maybe. Whistling is a nice touch on the piece.
Cruel World (Nickel & Dime)
An electronic modern pop groove is a big part of this song. That said, the number has some hints of space rock and some old school retro rock and roll in it, too.
Rainbow Glasses
The music on this makes me think of 1970s era Blondie. There is some killer retro rock sound along with dance pop. I can make out some hints of ABBA here, too. This is a classy cut that's among the highlights of the set.
Rock Me Baby
Here is another that makes me think of the Nancy Sinatra school of pop rock music. This is also another song with a lot of class. It's a highlight. It's on the mellower side and still has plenty of Americana.
Dud
The guitar fills on this are so cool. The organ lends some great retro texture. This has a real 1960s pop rock vibe to it. It's catchy and a lot of fun.
I Dodged A Bullet
With plenty of retro pop rock in the mix, this is another energetic and catchy tune. It's another that's a lot of fun.
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
A song originally recorded by Cher and written by Sonny Bono, this number is done in an arrangement that is quite similar to the opener. It works so well in this echoey, slow-moving format. It is another highlight.
It’s The Love
With strings and harp, the musical arrangement here is very much old-school. There is a dreamy quality to this. It's pretty, but not one of my favorites here.
 
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