The Secret Storm - The Dragon - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Secret Storm - The Dragon

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:6 Release Date:2015-12-08

Lauren Hoffman manages to traverse quite a bit of territory in just four songs on The Dragon, her first solo release working under the name The Secret Storm. It's not surprising, considering she's been making music for almost two decades, releasing her first album, Megiddo, under her own name way back in 1997. Still, while every song is unique, none of them step far from established musical paradigms. In a lot of ways, her music sounds like it's still coming from the same time period.

The EP begins with "Fast Lane", a mellow tune balancing guitar and piano, with Hoffman singing about blossoming love. "Sick with Love" is a piano-driven ballad, with a somber, almost sacred feeling, slow and mournful, a bit of the flipside of the optimism of the first song.

"Feel It All" is what I would describe as The Single. You know what I mean: the song where a band gets their shit together and makes a rock-solid track. It feels like the biggest song in the set, with dramatic strings and led by Hoffman's steady voice and powerful piano playing.

The title track is where Hoffman channels Jane Jensen's comic-book whore. There's slightly vocoded vocals, some creaky strings, and dirgelike guitar work also reminiscent of Chainsuck. A very 90s alt rock, almost pseudo industrial vibe going on here, making it stick out like a sore thumb compared to the other three songs, which are generally of a piece.

This tiny little set is pretty decent, something like an appetizer tray, with lots of little flavors to sample. Good for what it is, but not mindblowing or hugely innovative, it's still probably worth a listen, especially if you ever went to a Lilith Fair show.

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