Basia Bulat – Good Advice – Album Review
This is the fourth album from Canadian artist Basia Bulat and is something of a departure for her. The album shows the influence of Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who is not only responsible for the production but also plays electric guitar, synth, saxophone and bass on the album. It also features the talents of members of Houndmouth, Twin Limb, Seth Kauffman of Floating Action and more.
“Pop songs can take all those big statements and those big feelings that you have,” Bulat says. “You don’t need to necessarily have everything so detailed because everybody understands. Everybody understands those feelings.”
This is unashamedly a pop album, indulging in many of the simple pleasure the three minute pop song can bring. Pop is often treated as a dirty word, but when it is this pure and dream filled, it can be quite lovely. It opens with the organ and percussion driven La La Lie, which is one of the strongest track on the album.
‘I can promise myself tonight, I rehearsed and I know my lines, I can lie, lie, lie, lie la la lie…’
The Long Goodbye follows a similar enough route, with pounding drums and lilting organ, with the addition of moments of guitar. The vocals reign supreme and there is something joyous in her voice. Let Me In is a quieter track, with a more electronic synth sound, breaking from the bruising drums.
‘Where was the light we had before, I don’t why I ask at all’ – Good Advice
Good Advice starts with shimmering violins before breaking to guitar. Infamous is simple but effective with a slowly building wall of keyboard and guitar, with her powerful voice holding the focus.
‘Don’t waste my time pretending Love is somewhere else’ – Good Advice
The final track ‘Someday Soon’ is a distant dream and filled with longing. It’s a tender way to say goodbye, slipping from our grasp.
The lyric content on the album is not the most imaginative, but what it lacks in humour it makes up for in sincerity. The musical arrangements are slightly repetitive, but what holds it all together is Basia’s voice. It is at times tender and frail and at other times booming. The album doesn’t hold pretensions or aspirations that it will change the world, but there is more than enough here to put a smile on the face of the hardest cynic.
La La Lie
Let Me In
In The Name Of