Sydney Alese – Time
Sydney Alese delivers an exciting mix of dance, rock and pop on her infectious debut Time. For an artist just starting out she has an excellent grasp of the fundamentals. There are enough hooks and beats here to incite a foot movin’, club frenzy while having people singing along at the top of their lungs. Not only is Alese a multi-instrumentalist, but she’s also a great singer that’s really working her voice across the album’s punchy set.
The cut “Prisoner” starts with a downbeat melody allowing the sugary synths to swoop downward before rising up into an energetic beat with ample backing provided by the numerous electronic cut-ups and mashes. The pulsing bass takes a few pages from Paul Oakenfold and when coupled with Sydney’s emotive vocal musings, there are results that go above and beyond the current pop climate of Bieber and Miley. On the other hand, “Inspire” features a foundation of acoustic guitar, piano and country-paced rhythmic trots… it’s a completely different experience from the preceding track and shows that Alese can write and handle variety; a talent not possessed by many of the current pop crop (she plays instruments as well… ukulele for one).
“Rave” lives up to its title, because a dance/house arrangement that is destined for a night full of good times and glow sticks. Unlike the opener, this song goes more for a mid-tempo thing refined by Britney Spears in the mid-2000s. Lyrically, it is a touching anthem about the party life with a jiving push n’ pull happening between quiet/loud dynamics. Returning to organic instrumentation, the twang-y, lightly blues-roasted acoustics of “I Found my Bliss” and the rockin’ electric guitar riffs of “Responses like these” add some interesting juxtaposition to the dance oriented, remix stuff, lending the record a multi-dimensional quality that makes the music stick in the memory banks. Rounding out the album, the full on electronica burst of “Love in the Night” raises the mood before “Time” ends things on a soft keyboard ballad note (akin to Hooverphonic).
This is definitely a pop album that nobody should miss. While it could use a few more songs and slight maturation to Sydney’s arrangements (which comes with time and experience), there is great songs on Time and a lot of promise for the future. If you missed the “fun” of radio in the 90s, Alese will take you back in a time machine to a simpler era where music was a blast to hear.
8 out of 10 stars.