‘Wonder’ – Lisa Mitchell.
I know that turning 20 isn’t such a big deal, but for someone who had only gained consciousness during their teens, 20 is a leap. I’m turning 20 in approximately 27 days / 324 hours / 19 440 minutes / 1,166,400 seconds, and I just found out that Lisa Mitchell is only 3 months older than me; this is just weird. I guess it’s just about that time though; the time when your generation steps up. It just hit me that someone my age has achieved something so great and I really admire her for that. How did she do it all in the short 20 years she’s been on this earth, and more so, why the hell have I not achieved anything like her?! It played with my mind; I need to get my finger out…
I went to her show at The Enmore in Newtown on Friday night with a good friend (my gig buddy). I must say I was a little disappointed, but not to Lisa’s fault. There was this child and her mother standing next to us, and this little mutant girl would not shut up! She felt the need to expel this high pitched shrill every 20 seconds, and her mother kept on walking around in front of me so I couldn’t see; in the end I resulted to shunting the mother just slightly… and oh so discretely. I must also add that there were so many people talking through Lisa’s performance… how rude.
Despite all of my distractions, Lisa performed really well. She has a childlike innocence about her; she’s so gracious and the way she moves around the stage looks like a toddler excited about their recent discovery of mud-cakes. She’s a true musician and she remained loyal to her sound even on stage in front of hundreds. Lisa and her music are a cute couple in every way. Her lyrics accompanied with her music and her performing art follows a consistent line of ‘cuteness’.
Her show followed the ‘recent’ release of her album ‘Wonder’, so the majority of songs she played were from this album. The album is very well put together. The track listing follows no real musical sequence, but more or less are a really nice compilation of songs. For someone who likes a wide variety of music, my only complaint about this album would have to be that there was not enough musical experimentation / variety on her part. I mean, she’s only just starting out (in a way) and so why wouldn’t you throw a few ideas around? Saying this, I think that maybe Lisa has found her sound / niche; she produces fantastic music, and she does have a long life ahead of her to do the ‘experimentation’ thing.
There are some really well structured songs on this album; ‘Stevie’ and ‘Coin Laundry’ – layers, what I like to call ‘Bops’, sounds and progressions. Saying this, the progressions, whilst being easy to listen to are quite predictable (not dissing just pointing out). What I really really love about this album though is that Lisa Mitchell has an awesome ability to decorate her music; her ‘mmm’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’ are well placed and follow cute lines of melody like in ‘Clean White Love’, ‘Oh! Hark!’ and ‘So Jealous’. She feels her music, and it’s just brilliant to hear her enjoy it.
My favourite song off the album is ‘Pirouette’. This song is beautiful in all aspects of beauty that you can apply to something musical. It was performed well too; no matter how dodgy the lighting was. It’s quiet, slow and smooth although the progressions are still quite predictable, but in this case the predictability just makes the song easy listening. There are a lot of different harmonies at work all supporting a simple melody, the decoration in this song is very effective also. I love it.
The album holds homage to some really upbeat songs too like ‘Sidekick’ and ‘Heroine’. Lisa changes the style of music a bit in these songs, but still maintains her own sound. I really love her use of the harmonica in these songs (I’ve actually developed a harmonica addiction just recently). Lisa is really good at using instruments appropriately, and I think that this shows great discipline; especially for someone so young and so new to the music game.
I really liked this album. It did take a little getting used to because Lisa’s sound is quite constant and not too exciting, but once you come to appreciate her sound it’s quite easy then to appreciate her consistency. So, this being said, I would have to give this album a rating of FOUR stars. I’m definitely going to buy a hard copy for keepsakes, and it will be a permanent on the iPod. There is no one like Lisa.