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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