Anna Burch - Quit the Curse - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Anna Burch - Quit the Curse

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:8 Release Date:2018-03-02
Anna Burch - Quit the Curse
Anna Burch - Quit the Curse

It took Anna Burch a while to get this initial solo album released. The songs had been recorded a year ago, but she was cautious in making sure her first record was just right. “You only get one first record,” she explained, and if this month’s release of the long-awaited Quit the Curse is evidence, the wait was well worth it. Burch, a veteran of a few bands in the Detroit alternative scene, had her music find its way into the skilled hands of engineer Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen), who brought just the right sound Burch had desired.

There are nine songs in all, mostly mid-fi, jangly-pop, with some girl-group touches and the practiced chops of one who’s been around the Detroit music scene for a few years. Burch’s wry, brokenhearted lyrics, rendered utterly endearing with her crisp vocal talents and irresistible melodies, make this an instantly joyful listen. I’ll concede that the formula Burch relies on isn’t novel by any means; however, it’s hard to find fault in an album that’s so easy to love.

Juxtaposing the subtle edge in her lyrics with catchy hooks and ringing melodies, it’s easy to simply swallow these delicious songs like candy. After hearing the album a few more times, however, the lyrics emerge and a grimmer message is revealed, albeit couched in wry humor.

On the opening number/single “2 Cool 2 Care,” she pokes holes in the co-dependent relationship from the perspective of the recipient. “You scare me with your indifference. I like you best when you’re a mess” she laments, in one of the album’s most addictive tunes. Follow-up “Tea-Soaked Letter” is another compelling number, again dealing with the bullshit of relationships, “You said you would communicate better, so why won’t you send me a tea-soaked letter?”

On another album highlight, the smoldering “Asking 4 A Friend,” Burch makes a score from an old acquaintance, starting politely enough, “I’m just asking for a friend. But, it’s good to see you, good to see you again. Is this the same stuff you had last time? It really made me lose my mind.” Soon enough, the conversation turns uncomfortable, “If memory’s selective and pain is all relative, it only sinks in when you’re the victim.”

“What I Want” is a lilting song about a break-up devoid of acrimony. “Isn’t it nice to have a little bit of closure instead of talking shit and throwing up cold shoulders? I want to be nice to you. I want to be nice to you,” repeating it twice as if employing a self-help mantra in order to get through a trying ordeal. As in many of Burch’s song on this album, there’s some bitterness blended in. Wrestling with her conflicting feelings, she describes a reluctant social gathering, “We got to talking as I started to feel better. The stabbing hatred for you suddenly felt softer,” before she resigns to the lesson learned, “I won’t play the victim just because I can’t get what I want.”

While she has some room to grow, Quit the Curse is an instant favorite and an accomplished solo debut for Anna Burch.

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