Variety can often be the spice of life. Everyone enjoys a little salt and a little sugar, a little comfort, a little excitement. British singer Carina Round delivers enough variety to send the average listener running in the opposite direction.
With her latest album, “Slow Motion Addict,” Round skips from one musical style to another, resulting in a combination of songs sounding like Kelly Clarkson meets Regina Spektor meet Alanis Morissette. Some may argue that such variety is exciting and keeps a listener interested, however, in “Slow Motion Addict,” it just leaves one without a grasp of what they just heard.
The album’s first track, “Stolen Car,” a poppy tune with strong percussion, sounds a bit like Avril Lavigne. We then go to a Gwen Stefani-esque “How Many Times.” There is a good balance of diversity at this point for, of course, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne’s musical styles are not too far a cry from one another. Everything changes with the next track, “Gravity Lies.” Suddenly, confusion sets in as an Alanis Morissette-ridden voice floats through the speakers.
As if that were not enough, a few tracks later, the whisper of a gritty voice comes at you, forcing you into an utter confusion. At one point the album sounds like pop music, then rock, then folk. At no point does Round deliver an independently successful vocal performance.
Artists such as Regina Spektor and Kelly Clarkson demonstrate similar strings of variety with their vocal styles, however the main difference is that these artists do so with a decided flair and amazingly, strong and moving voices. Carina Round shows only a glimpse of such vocal talent here and there, but otherwise sounds like a talking voice put to a tune.
The combination of songs on the album is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get. By the time you have finished listening to the album, the combination of truffles and toffee, nuts and coconuts may have made you a little sick.
On the other hand, a little chocolate at a time is not at all a bad thing. Individually, Round’s songs are fun and mostly uplifting, with poetic, intuitive lyrics, even if some are a little sour. Listening to one song at a time may be a pleasure, with Carina Round however, just like chocolate, you can definitely have too much of a good thing.