CD REVIEW: Lena Fayre - OKO
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Pinnacle of Modern Pop"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Label: Independent Artist
Alternative Rock, Ambient Dance Pop. Psychedelic Soul, Hip Hop Pop
Weakness: A few winded Songs, A few short sided songs, Short sided CD
(Los Angeles) Lena Fayre just released her latest CD entitled “OKO" in 2014. She is known most for her soulful vocals and no-holds-barred, in- live shows. But look closer and you'll find an artist with roots in traditional "deconstructed pop” encompassing an indie vibe with rhythmic trance elements. Featured by Rolling Stone Magazine as a “New Artist You Need to Know,” songs from 18-year-old singer songwriter Lena Fayre’s self-titled 2013 debut EP boast millions of views on YouTube and have received several awards. Lena Fayre is performing songs from OKO in ront of audiences primarily in Southern California, while gearing up to explore the next phase of her musical career, having made the decision to postpone indefinitely her college entry in order to be able to devote 100% of her energy to her life-long passion for music.
The CD takes flight with “I Am Not a Man” a psychedelic ditty with methodical intro that serves up impassioned vocal feel from Fayre with impressive vocal harmonies, melodic musical touches against a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “The Tigers Bride” downshifts a bit with its methodical piano driven intro eventually lending itself into a striking “Gold Standard” ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Everybody’s In” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its infectious melody, steady flowing rhythm, impressive chorus, and a good heartfelt/thought provoking message. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a dash of Electronic or Ambient Pop. Also present are unique elements of what I would call Alternative-Psychedelic Soul and vocal Hip-Hop Pop. The production touches and overall value of this CD are quite expensive and very exotic. It's the Pinnacle of Modern Pop. All in all the CD touches a wide range of musical styles. Besides the four piece standard you will notice impressive instrumentation with things like impressive strings, guitar, Piano, Organ, sporadic keyboard and synth accents, well-placed harmonies, dynamic electronic based drums all built upon a solid moog driven rhythm section to boot. The musicianship and musical touches from Fayre are clearly above the bar. As for her vocal abilities, it works extremely well within the confines of this catalogue. She’s got a good marketable look, a catchy mystique and knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing vocal fluidity. Fayre has enough soul to go around. Her voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with an infectious timbre. She’s got a good vibrato and impressive Mezzo Soprano. Fayre showcases much in the way of vocal technicalities with an impressive falsetto and has much to offer insofar as overall power, control and finesse. As a songwriter: the songwriting consistent and rock solid across the board. The harmonies and melodies are well placed and well crafted. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. This 11 track offering from Fayre is rock solid and delivers everything you would expect from a top-tiered musical Production such as this providing much in the way of musical variety and melodic layering. It definitely offers has a lot of musical depth and variety within the sonic space. Her music reminds me of a combination between trippy and psychedelic Portishead, and Amy Winehouse. Other comparisons include: Sara Bareilles, Pink, Kelly Clarkston, Pink, Gwen Stefani, The Cardigans, Tori Amos, Melanie C, Dido, Sophie B. Hawkins, Lana Del Rey and Lorde. All songs are well crafted and consistent across the board. From epic “Gold Standard King” to hypnotic “Games” and to striking “I Remember” to heartfelt “Ophelia” to methodical “Start a War” to rock steady “Every Man is a Warrior” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Intimacy Is Me”” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
I wish there were more solo segments throughout the catalog. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line while all tracks under 3 minutes feel like incomplete statements to me. CD is a bit short with 11 Tracks, perhaps 2 3 more tacks are needed to make this a fully loaded CD release. I don't get the name of the album and overall concept.
From start to finish “OKO” by Lena Fayre delivers the mojo and is a fully loaded 11 Track release from start to finish. The music is diverse, grooving, upbeat, soulful and sonically entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Fayre is highly marketable. Her overall persona and mainstream mystique is something millions of people should gravitate towards.