Lena Fayre – “Cry” single review
Primary URL: http://www.lenafayre.space/
Lena Fayre has released two singles since her 2014 full length release Oko. The first, “This World”, scored big with fans of piano driven ballads, but her latest single “Cry” targets a much different audience. This track finds Fayre indulging in a much more outright pop oriented approach with drum machines and a stark arrangement relying on the contrast between chorus and verse for much of its musical effects. The other key part of the song’s musical equation is Fayre’s voice and she abandons the extended vocal lines of the earlier single in favor of a terser approach on the new song. She never sacrifices the vocal melody in favor of this approach, however. Instead, there’s something a rougher edge here than one hears in her much of her earlier work and that sound is likely attributable to the song’s content.
The central musical parts of the song can be boiled down to bass, percussion, and keyboards. Fayre modulates their use throughout, bearing down with their sound at key points while relaxing at others. The verses are stripped back affairs with Fayre’s voice positioned at the center and her deft handling of the melody line is enough to keep listeners engaged. She acquits herself well during the song’s chorus. The thrilling peak it reaches is tempered by the desperate, though powerful, tone of Fayre’s voice. She makes it a moment of great drama rather than contradicting the chorus for the sake of playing to formula.
If the song’s sophistication and Fayre’s nineteen years aren’t enough to surprise you, her lyrical content will finish the job. There’s a remarkable maturity in these lines that subverts formula while still playing to the audience’s expectations. She touches on enough key tropes, while managing to put her own touch on them, that no one will feel like they’ve wandered into alien musical territory. Instead, Fayre’s inventiveness and charismatic point of view keep the song compelling from first note to last.
Assurance like this cannot be taught. The relatively modest, at this point, body of work that Fayre has produced emanates from inherent skill, but Fayre has augmented it with considerable technique. However, instead of the technique overcoming her creditability, Fayre claimed what was useful for her and discarded the rest. The result is a dramatic musical experience that has an appealing theatrical aura. The song’s accompanying video reinforces this idea thanks to its coherent narrative in images.
It’s an impressive next step in a career with no perceptible ceiling. Fayre is one of those rare talents who come along and impress listeners enough to suggest she’s a transformative figure in the genre. Only the future can bear that out. In the meantime, songs like “Cry” and their ill are certain to find large and appreciative audiences because, all sonic tinsel and production trickery aside, Lena Fayre is offering listeners authentic personal experience related in an artful way.
Watch the Cry Video: https://vimeo.com/163996978