Lexia - Underground Sounds
Record Company: Break Silence Recordings
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Mediocrity is something that often plagues a common Eyes Set to Kill album, but it's enjoyable due in part to capable musicians and an often grand vocal delivery from Alexia "Lexia" Rodriguez. Underground Sounds is the solo attempt from Rodriguez, and her attempt at pop music is still watered down by mediocrity, only this time, it's often less enjoyable and fails to ever become something relevant. Rodriguez's voice is still wonderful, but it's not nearly enough to save this album from becoming nothing more than a copy of most other irrelevant pop albums today.
"Basements" is a bright point, and early on, it gave me hope for this album. It's a driving pop melody, filled with a catchy-as-hell chorus. "Climbing up the Walls" is interesting at parts, but often maintains a boring monotonous sound, never really taking off. The fun found in "Basements" is slowly murdered by this song. "Let Me In" is often much like "Climbing up the Walls" but manages to actually have an engaging chorus to offset the bleak sound.
The album chugs along at a slow pace until we hit the second highlight of the album, "Still Here" an acoustic, lovely song with a sadly written, yet genuine chorus. Add a piano to this, and you have a perfectly coherent pop song that will surely be a hit. "Memories" mirrors Jewel, and is at no point memorable. "Reach" is the third and final highlight, and is the acoustic equivalent of fun found in earlier track "Basements".
Musically, this album never stands on solid ground. Typical, cliche pop music that's been churned out of the mill for years. Rodriguez is definitely a capable guitarist and pianist for the type of music she wanted to release, but it's never creative, and rarely fun. The production is great for a pop album, and helps Rodriguez's voice sound completely genuine.
Underground Sounds is a bold attempt, but it often falters because of a lack of creative genes. The vocals from Rodriguez is about the only reason I'd recommend this album; they are simply mesmerizing. But, for me, wonderful vocals isn't enough to overshadow the fact that the music here isn't creative in the least bit, and that would be fine if the music had an enjoyable sound. Most of the time, it doesn't at all. What I'd suggest to all fans of ESTK who wish to check out this album is close out the music, and listen to the vocals. For all you Jewel and Sarah McLachlan fans, listen to this. This is your album. For everyone else, skip it, and be all the happier for it.