By Lail Arad
Her voice sounds like it contains her entire personality, giggles, flirty flickering eye lashes, tears and jeers. And each song is a story unto itself, and sounds like it is utterly personal to the singer, giving an insight to her world, that can be easily related to. Upbeat pop in the vein of Ben Folds or Lily Allan (folky guitar and piano, with no drum machine,) with excellent lyrics, and a good sense of humour. But there is something very S Club about her voice, like a child's entertainer. This record might come across as too cute to some, like an advert for kids TV that has been taken too seriously, but she carries it off because of the quality of her song writing, lyrically especially. The variety in subject matter, and the depth to which she leaves herself exposed with her words means this playfulness in her voice is just another side to her character.
Lial Arad's lyrical ability, along with carefully embellished simple chord progressions, make for what seem to be revealing songs. Self deprecating and self assured, with out descending into self indulgent or overly romantic nonsense. 'Reminds Me' is a master class in keeping a simple idea fresh till the end of a song, something most pop song writing lacks. On 'Who Am I?' she deals with accepting her own self image, which is no longer the teenage hippy she once was, and manages to relay natural insecurities and anxieties in a Kinks style four minutes. 'Had It Harder' is one of the best deconstructions of middle class guilt I have heard, without offering a patronising apology.
Some will love her, others will be irritated by her, but I always think it is much better to raise a reaction than be passed off simply as nice pop.