Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trentalange Awakens

I don't generally like solo performers. Nine times out of ten, solo performers are singer songwriters that can't really sing or write a song and they get stuck in what I call the quagmire of cliches. There is that exception every now and again; an artist who brings something more to the table, an artist who is much more than a singer with an acoustic guitar and some tales of woe. Trentalange is one of those exceptions.

A veteran musician who was making music before she was reading books, Barbara Trentalange has always gone about things differently and her album Awakening, Level One is a perfect example of this. Rather than just moaning about things Trentalange goes out there and does something about them. This is one girl who rocks and is not afraid to be one powerful lady. In fact, you could almost think of her as an American version of Shirley Manson. She's a chick and she knows that but she doesn't hesitate to kick a little butt when it comes to her songs and she knows how to knock you down and reel you in. She knows a hook when she hears one, knows how to write an aggressive tune when need be and knows how to calm things down with a bit of tender mercy.

Awakening, Level One is a diverse album that combines all of her strengths into songs that pack a punch. With metallic riffs, disco synths, and soaring vocals this is one artist that's going to take your ears on a ride whether they want to go along or not. Perhaps a bit 90's or maybe even a bit like PJ Harvey at times, Trentalange is about as far from being a cliche solo performer as one can be. What makes her even more impressive is that she played everything on this record herself and penned all the songs as well; at this point you might as well just throw the book of cliches out the window.

Barbara Trentalange has truly made one heck of an album with Awakening, Level One. It's a powerful statement of her ability as a musician and songwriter that you can truly do anything you want, and do it well, if you set your mind to it. Trippy, spacey, powerful, angsty, and occasionally dancey, Awakening, Level One covers all the bases and takes no prisoners doing so. It's an impressive effort that's earns even more props for being a true solo project.

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