Monday, September 24, 2012

Hannah Georgas: "Hannah Georgas" (album review)

Hot on the heels of her successful debut full length, This Is Good, which garnered two Juno nominations, Vancouver's Hannah Georgas is poised to return with the follow-up uniquely titled Hannah Georgas.

If one thing's apparent from the new record (out October 2nd), it's that Georgas has left the tough girl persona from her debut EP The Beat Stuff far behind.  It's a more vulnerable, less rockin' woman we've got on our hands now.

Much of the sharp-tongue Georgas displayed in her lyrics in the past has gone.  In it's place we have a more fragile songwriter, one who at times, like on the disco-tinged "Somebody", verges on pitiable.

That fragility does result in some magical moments.  It allows Georgas' voice to take you places.  In the case of the Feistian opener "Elephant", those are very beautiful places.

The arrangements are often too pedestrian to make an impact.  Songs like "Robotic", "What You do To Me" and "Fantasize" never really ignite, and without the sharp lyrics, leave little for the listener to grab a hold of.  With the exception of the submariner sound of "Enemies", the increased emphasis on electronics rarely improves a song.

The best tracks on the record are the ones where Georgas lets loose, even just a little bit.  On the infectious "Shortie", Georgas manages to be both cute and sexy without either feeling weird.  "Millions" provides the album's catchiest moment with perky feel-good pop.

Instead of defying expectations Hannah Georgas seems designed specifically to be accessible for mass audiences.  Sharp edges have been rounded, language has been tamed.  It's a shame because the ornery Georgas was so much more likable.

Hannah Georgas plays The Rivoli in Toronto on October 4th and opens for Mother Mother at the Kool Haus on December 1st.

Best tracks: "Shortie", "Elephant"

Track listing for Hannah Georgas:
  • Elephant
  • Somebody
  • Robotic
  • Enemies
  • Shortie
  • Fantasize
  • Millions
  • What You Do To Me
  • Ode To Mom
  • Waiting Game

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