The first album for Plumerai with its new singer and new direction, Mondegreen reveals a mixture of Plumerai’s former post-punk shoegaze style now taking full advantage of new vocalist, Eliza Brown’s classic Ella Fitzgerald like voice. This blending of classic vocals and gothic influence is at times stunning, but unfortunately, these moments of striking synergy are frequently diluted and marginalized by the album’s overtly pop leanings.
Mondegreen starts off brilliantly with the haunting and melancholy “13,” which shows how great a combo gothic rock, cabaret, and Brown’s vocals can be. Unfortunately, “Trip” immediately deflates the promise of its predecessor as the moody work gives way to much more poppy and upbeat work. “Troubled Soul” and “Come & Go” are a bit more soulful, but take on more of a lounge act sort of sound that, though solid, feels shallow and inconsequential. “Six Ton Gorilla” returns to the peppier, catchy, and jovial work, but this is one of the rare cases of the album where the vocals and music sound badly mixed and just don’t mesh well, leaving it feeling more like a karaoke track. “Mimosa,” “Mortality,” and “Loss” remind the listener just how haunting and lovely Plumerai can be as they recapture the moody edge washed away by the pop leanings of songs like “Marco Polo.”
Plumerai is clearly talented but seems unsure of what tone to take with its new singer and that may come as a bit of a shock to those familiar with the band’s previous work. The upbeat songs just lack the edge or attitude to really grab an audience and takes away much of the impact of the weightier work. The pop tracks leave Plumerai sounding like a lounge act; the work is very pleasant and entertaining, but feels like unimportant fluff. Mondegreen shows that the change in singers did have a fairly large impact on Plumerai’s sound, and the uneasy tonal shifts of the album from soulful melancholy to tulip traipsing joy leave it feeling far too bipolar and lacking in gravity.
Plumerai Website http://plumerai.com
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Plumerai Bandcamp http://plumerai.Bandcamp.com
Silber Records Website http://www.silbermedia.com
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Trubie Turner (Flexei)