Lisa O Piu - Behind The Bend - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lisa O Piu - Behind The Bend

by Katie Butler Rating:4.5 Release Date:2010-06-21

Less than a year after the release of their first album, Lisa O Piu are back with Behind the Bend, a six track psychedelic folk collection hovering somewhere between an EP and a full-length release. Led by the bewitching and enchanting vocals of Lisa Isaksson, last years critically acclaimed When This Was the Future secured the band as a new-age folk group, demonstrating their rather complex use of beautiful acoustic guitar melodies, double-tracked vocals and stunning flute solos.

What's most baffling about their new album, therefore, is the shockingly apparent lack of substantial material. Clocking in at just 28 minutes, the majority of which comes from the 12 minute mini-epic, 'Child of Trees', it's hard not to prematurely pass judgement on the album, or at least question its hasty release. When This Was the Future went down a treat with folk fans; tracks such as 'The Party' and 'Cinnamon Sea' became instant favourites, indicating the gently powerful and bewitching nature of 21st century folk music. The confusing release date of Behind the Bend however, has resulted in the band loosing the mystic enchantment they worked so hard to create through, what seems to be, a lack of once plentiful musical passion.

The opening track of the album, 'Was It The Moon', infuses acoustic guitar, harp and flute melodies beautifully: a promising start. As expected, Lisa Isaksson's double-tracked vocals are enchanting and rather trance-enducing, dragging you into her dream world of daisy-chains and unicorns; pretty overall, but not particularly exciting. 'Simplicity' on the other hand, is a rather more sombre affair. Both vocally and lyrically complex, it's a real highlight, by far the best on the album; the instrumental elements which dominate most other tracks have been stripped away almost completely, emphasising the dwelling, reflective lyrics.

By the third track however, boredom is setting in. The flute melodies have been heard several times before, the mystical lyrics have become rather tiresome and the instrumental sections have started to drag. From here on, the album spirals into an abyss of repetitive, indistinct melodies and lacklustre vocals. Unfortunately, it has to be said that 'World Falling Down' and 'Gong For Hours', the two instrumental tracks on the album, sound more like fillers than intricately constructed folk tracks, both of which would sound more at home on one of those relaxation/whale albums.

Apparently, whilst searching for inspiration for her second album, Isaksson used to spend her days in a cottage located in deep woods, whilst evenings were spent paddling across a forest lake in an old rowing boat. The result of her meanderings, however, appears to be a rather limp, unsubstantial album, with just one track worthy of a listen. From a band that once demonstrated so much potential, their second album is a real disappointment; more time should have been spent in the recording studio and less time wandering in the woods.

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