Going solo is never easy. And no one is probably feeling this more than Jenny Lee Lindberg. Spending the best part of a decade as bass player and occasional backing vocalist for Californian quartet Warpaint, Lindberg has decided to go it alone on debut album right on! and while the title may have you expecting a positive, gung-ho approach, the reality is anything but.
jennylee surprises with opening track ‘Blind’, a sombre, plaintive, bass-heavy track that is both startling and arresting in its delivery. A brave album opener, especially for a debut, it’s melancholia done right and though lead track ‘Never’ is fuelled by a frantic bass, vocally, it soon becomes apparent that the album is lost.
Lyrically, the album tends to trail off and parts are so incoherent that it becomes unclear what is actually going on. ‘He’s So Fresh’, for example, has a ’90s girl-band vibe and although has the potential to be really interesting, the lyrics are so washed out that they make the four minute track a testing endurance of patience. On Warpaint’s self-titled second LP, they toyed with the idea of hazy, dream-like soundscapes, but in reality, we were left with an album that was incoherent and took many repeated listens to really pick out the hidden gems.
Lindberg has seemingly adopted these vague characteristics. Her beautiful, breathy vocal just doesn’t feel like enough to carry an album and while there are glimpses of musical greatness, reverting back to her former band’s sound too quickly isn’t enough to get excited about. Branching out from a safe haven of a group is trying, no question, but hopefully jennylee will gain confidence in her own clear musical talent and find her own distinct voice for the next offering.