Music Review: Truth is a Beautiful Thing
I was introduced to London Grammar over 3 years ago when their debut album If You Wait was still new and relatively unknown in the US.
Their music is arresting from the first listen: shimmery, cavernous, the lead singer's voice far deeper than any female voice you're likely to encounter in a day's worth of FM radio.
I liked that first album so much I wasn't sure this one would be able to hold up.
But Truth is a Beautiful Thing simply picks up where If You Wait left off, more like a long second side than a second record.
It's hard for me to write about how little I like listening to women sing without sounding like a nasty person. I took a lot of singing lessons, and have worked really hard to avoid the 3 biggest pitfalls: excessive vibrato, vocal fry, breathiness. Most popular female singers suffer from a combination of these, and at the end of the day, I want to hear something that doesn't sound like me, so.... I listen to mostly male singers. (This isn't even always their fault: it sells. I just find it annoying.)
That's the other thing, I like melancholy music, which plenty of people write, but which doesn't usually get the same amount of airtime as, say, upbeat breakup songs.
But there are GREAT female vocalists, and Hannah Reid is one of them. I find this style of music (British indie pop/dream pop) really refreshing when juxtaposed with the happy clappy popular music we cannot get away from in stores and movies. Does Florence (of Florence and the Machine) have a great voice? Yes. Would I like to never hear her radio hits again? Also yes! (Don't even get me started on Adele.)
The music is almost all solemn, majestic, and as I said, cavernous. Not at all out of place in a cathedral or a concert hall. I'm not meaning to imply that this isn't a dynamic record, but even the faster songs are all minor key, and evocative in a restrained sort of way.
Voice, drums, keys, guitar. It's beautiful and simple—simply done right, riding on the strength of an incredible voice. For fans of Lorde, Keane, and Daughter.