A while back (yes, sorry for that – I’ve been busy traveling!), I went to a benefit gig at the Union Chapel organised by Paloma Faith. She had a friend that wasn’t very well and she managed to get a bunch of her friends and colleagues from the music industry to come along and put on a show. It was a great little event but it was a bit more of a ‘taster menu’ rather than a gig. She had so many acts that we really only had 2 or 3 tracks from each artist. As I said, it was a good evening with comedy from Keith Lemon and, oddly, Ricky Wilson (from the Kaiser Chiefs), through to some lesser known acts. One of which was Rox.
Rox’s debut album is called Memoirs but before I start telling you about it (and why I’ve decided to write about it), there’s an important preface. Rox only performed new tracks at the gig and said that although she was proud of this album, and was grateful for the opportunities that it has brought, it wasn’t her. She suggested it was a sound that had been forced on her (probably by her record label) and that her next project would better reflect her natural style.
One thing that was clear from her brief performance is that she is an extremely talented and capable artist, both as a singer and a musician. That is also abundantly obvious from her album.
She sites Mary J. Blige, Lauren Hill, and Joni Mitchell as her influences and she has incorporated a lot of those sounds into the album. The whole record has a very soft sound to it but mixes that with some very soulful tracks, some reggae, and some slightly more lively stuff. It actually does come across a little bit experimental and you don’t get the feeling that it flows together very well which again underlines her thoughts on the end product.
As you listen to the album, you definitely find yourself falling in love with certain tracks (and styles) whilst also drifting away from others that you find a bit grating. What would be a really interesting experience would be to sit down with Rox, and listen to the album with her to see which tracks she really likes and which ones she doesn’t feel are her. There are certain tracks on her album where you don’t feel the love and you kind of feel that she’s just going through the motions.
What would be even more telling is whether or not the tracks I like are the same as hers…
So what we have here is an extremely talented artist that has the potential to be a superstar. Her album is a bit like a demo tape sent out to the world – the tricky bit is giving her feedback. I hope her next album is more like the first 3 or 4 tracks of the album (the livelier stuff) rather than the expressionless stuff that is on the end – but time will tell.
I’m going to be nice and give this one 2 G’s as I do think it’s worth a listen, but I won’t go so far as to recommend it. One thing you all should do is keep an eye out for her. I think we’ll here some more from Rox and lets all hope it… well… rocks.
P.S. I should confess that despite being a little critical of Memoirs, I do find myself continually listening to it. Let me know if that happens with you lot!