Plumbiferous Media

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood – The Mynabirds

May 2nd 2010
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What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood - The MynabirdsThe Mynabirds
What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood
Score: 81

After the split up of indie duo Georgie James, Laura Burhenn began her solo project, The Mynabirds, releasing her first album by that name, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, last week. While The Mynabirds displays some of the indie-pop aesthetics of Georgie James, Burhenn has used it as an opportunity to flesh our her music, incorporating elements of several other genres to create an intriguing album.

Burhenn’s rich vocals give What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood an impressive presence as they not only provide the album with a deep base, but deftly guide the music along the paths she has set out. Burhenn is equally capable of singing in a style suited to whimsical pop as to the deeper sound she seems to be aiming for on this album, and it shows, as she leisurely sings the songs of What We Lose, imbuing them with a resonant sound.

The lyrics of What We Lose are generally both interesting and well-suited to the sound of the album. As Burhenn sings “You can move mountains with your point of view / Doesn’t have to be so hard,” it fits perfectly with the ebbs and flows of the music, creating a pleasantly unified sound and tone to the album. The lyrics do occasionally slip into slight repetition (such as on the country-tinged “Good Heart”), but the rich sound of the music generally makes up for this.

What We Lose generally relies upon fairly deep instrumentals, borrowing tone in turns from rock, soul, and folk music, with Burhenn’s voice combining well with elements from each influence. Strong percussion lines combine with almost-instrumental vocal layering to create an ultimately successful musical mixture, which contrasts and combines each of its parts quite skillfully. Where What We Lose is less successful is in a lack of instrumental diversity that seems to plague the album – while each track sounds quite good, it is at times difficult to tell them apart. The album’s short duration helps to prevent this from becoming a more serious problem, but nevertheless it certainly detracts from the album somewhat.

Overall, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood is a good album. Laura Burhenn displays impressive aptitude on a number of musical fronts with the debut of her solo project as she creates a universally rich, compelling sound. The skillful combination of vocals, lyrics, and instrumentals brings What We Lose together beautifully, such that, even though it suffers from occasional issues of repetition or lack of diversity, it still works very well.

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