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Lenka The Show
Who is Lenka?
Lenka is a solo artist who grew up in Australia but considers Los Angeles to be her 'adopted' home. Whilst growing up in Sydney Lenka became engrossed in acting and trained with the likes of Cate Blanchett. From this training she had several roles in TV shows, stage and indie films before landing herself as a vocalist and keyboard player for indie band Decoder Ring. It was from this time with Decoder Ring that she found her solo artist career she is now persuing. Decoder Ring decided to have her sing lead vocals for one of their tracks and since then she has never looked back. She went around Europe and Australia and America trying to get recognised and then was persued by several record labels before signing up with Epic.
To look at Lenka she looks like a typical Indie chick with her long brown hair back combed and her style slightly 'out there' but I think she's less dramatic looking than the likes of Amie Whinehouse and Adele the other 'alternatives' big at the moment.
When I've read about her childhood she certainly seems to have learnt to be headstrong. She describes her family as being hippies and that they pushed her towards playing instruments and would bribe her to do well but she would always do the opposite. She also appears to be very determined to get herself known and make something of herself perhaps influenced by the fact her father was a jazz musciain or maybe by the fact that she saw how hard Cate Blanchett worked, whatever the reasoning I think she comes across as a likable character.
=== The Show. ===
This album was released in 2009 and has a good mixture of tracks. At first they all seem quite dramatic with their titles and some of the lyrics but I find them to be quite uplifting and I really enjoy listening to them especially whilst driving along when the sun's shining or to help me to be encouraged to get out of bed and face the day! I always find myself feeling disappointed when it goes back to Track 1! I always want there to be more! There are 11 tracks in total these being:
Bring Me Down
Don't Let Me Fall
Anything I'm Not
Dangerous and Sweet
Trouble is a Friend
Live Like You're Dying
Like a Song
We Will Not Grow Old.
Upon looking at these titles you may think they sound a bit depressing 'we will not grow old' and 'bring me down' but actually they are more uplifting than depressing.
===The Show. Personal rating: 4 Stars===
This has been released as a single and is a really catchy track. It was the first I'd heard of Lenka when this came on the radio and the lyrics were going round in my head for the rest of the day and I decided I had to hear more from her. The main theme of the song is suggesting that life is a show and it's not always a good one and that you can feel confused and trapped but that there is always a way through it and to just enjoy it. I really rate this song, I can n ever help but sing along to it when it's on and I think it was a great choice to start the album off and to release earlier this year.
This is also seen in the DFS advert, I like the fact that they have dubbed out the line 'I want my money back!'
Bring Me Down. Personal rating 3 Stars.
This song is quite a depressing one which I guess is why I don't rate it as highly as The Show but it's also not as catchy. Although it's got depressing lyrics such as "I'm over being lied to, I'm over being pushed into the person that you want me to become" and is all about a relationship ending it's still quite a fast tempo song. I don't find it all that catchy though and so it's not my favourite really.
Skipalong. Personal rating 4 stars.
I really like this song, it's upbeat, positive and has a happy-go-lucky element to it. I think it really reflects Lenka's personality in this. It's all about wanting to just be carefree and you get this impression from both the lyrics and the music as it's 'plinky plonky' nature is really uplifting. The song starts off sounding like it will be slow with the lyrics "so tired of feeling blue, such a heavy weight on you" but then it picks up beat and turns into a positive song all about getting over feeling low and enjoying life in a carefree way. This song is really catchy and after listening to it I find myself singing it all day which can be really irritating for others!
Don't Let Me Fall. Personal rating 4 stars.
This is probably my second favourite on the album. It starts off really clear, Lenka's voice really soft and singing the words beautifully. It's a happy track, about finding the person she's been waiting for to help support her and get her through. When listening to this song I can picture what she's singing about and really visualise it which I think shows that the choice of lyrics along with the sedate music in the background really make the song work. I particularly like the fact that the music isn't too in your face and that the main instrument in this is Lenka's voice.
Anything I'm Not. Personal rating 2 stars.
I am not a fan of this song. I find that the lyrics are confusing and don't really make sense to me. The song includes both of the following lyrics "I'm so tired of being me, I wanna be free, I wanna be different" and "...I will always be me that I know and oh I'm even happy being me..." So to me it doesn't really make sense to me! I don't think this song really works.
Knock Knock. Personal rating 2 stars.
Again this is a song I'm not a fan of and it's a shame that it follows on from the previous track as it means that 2 tracks in a row are not all that great in my opinion. It's quite repetitive and I don't feel as though it's really going anywhere. The message behind this song is about having found that someone who can turn your 'frown upside down' but I don't think it's all that great a song, it's no where near as catchy or as interesting as her other tracks.
Dangerous and Sweet. Personal rating 3 stars.
This is a fast pace song with a lot of background music so Lenka's voice is not quite as clear as in the others but it's still a decent song. I like the fact it's easy to listen to, good to drive along to. The song seems to be about the variety of people you meet in life.
Trouble is a friend. Personal rating 4 stars.
This is a great song. It's quite minor in key and seems quite dark and eriee when listening to it, all about how trouble seems to follow you around everywhere and it doesn't matter what you do it's still there. She says that the aim of this song was to be quite uplifting though, instead of the usual depressing route about trouble she wanted it to seem like she was 'kicking trouble in the ass' by saying it was actually a friend. It's a really decent track, I really like the eriee tones.
Live Like You're Dying. Personal rating 5 stars.
This is my favourite song on the album. I like it for several reasons. I like the fact that it's a simple song that relates to it's title, the lyrics make sense, Lenka's voice is smooth, fresh and clear and the instruments are quiet in the background so they don't distract from the simple message of the song. The song asks what are you going to do with all your days you have, reminding you that your days are numbered and you should be positive and live for the moment. I often find myself fast forwarding to this track and singing along. I really rate this track.
Like a Song. Personal rating 4 stars.
This track is very different to the others on the album. It stands out from the others as it sounds almost medieval in it's nature. It's eriee with the harmonies being so close and the music not starting until a few bars in. It's comparing a person to a song and how a song can get stuck in your head just like a person. I think it's a really good similie which I'd never thought of before. It's probably the most slow track on the album and follows on nicely from the previous track. A very well written song.
We Will Not Grow Old. Personal rating 4 stars.
Although quite depressing in it's title the song isn't actually depressing. The song is more about staying young at heart and not what you may presume it to be about- dying young. It's all about young love or friendship and saying with that friend forever and staying young and carefree. I think it's well placed at the end of the album as it's quite a positive note and reflects the rest of the album well which seems to be the notion of staying young and being positive about the negatives which come your way in life.
My overall conclusion.
I really rate this artist and even my husband enjoys me having the CD on in the car and I have caught him singing some of the lyrics too! I think her style is quirky but not too 'out there' and her attitude is like a breath of fress air. She's not trying to show off or make herself known for doing all sorts but just focusses on her music. I like the fact that her lyrics make sense and you don't feel that she's intoxicated whilst writing them! Her voice is really easy to listen to and although the tracks are quite uptempo they are also quite calming which is unusual!
I really recommend that you give this album a listen to if you're looking for something new and different to try.
The album is available from most music stores online and in the high street. From Amazon it's £6.99.
For more information about Lenka visit www.lenkamusic.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Show, The
2 Bring Me Down
4 Don't Let Me Fall
5 Anything I'm Not
6 Knock Knock
7 Dangerous And Sweet
8 Trouble Is A Friend
9 Live Like You're Dying
10 Like A Song
11 We Will Not Grow Old