Catching a Tiger
Aug 24, 2010 Web Exclusive
The debut from this Illinois-born, California resident singer/songwriter showcases Lissie's ability to evoke a range of vocal-centered pop music, from Laura Marling-esque folk ("Everywhere I Go") through straight-ahead pop rock ("When I'm Alone"), bluesy stomp ("Little Lovin'"), and even Archies-esque bubblegum ("Stranger"). Lissie sings with conviction and a certain Midwestern charm, and but the diversity of style on Catching a Tiger doesn't always cohere.
Songs such as "Bully" remind loosely of fellow California transplant Joni Mitchell, circa "Big Yellow Taxi;" "Cuckoo" rides a mainstream country feel à la Taylor Swift; and "Worried About" grooves around the beat like Edie Brickell and New Bohemians. And as if this weren't enough zigzagging in form, style, and musical era, check out Lissie's YouTube cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." On the one hand, it's impressive how she can weave so many different touches into her music, but on the other, things can get a bit schizophrenic. Unfortunately, the common denominator is nondescript pop-rock that loses its ability to enchant with repeated listens. (www.lissie.com)
Author rating: 4/10
Average reader rating: 8/10