My Brightest Diamond

A Million and One

Rhyme & Reason

Nov 30, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

It's hard to get a take on Shara Nova, better known as My Brightest Diamond. It's also hard not to like her sophisticated and sensual, cabaret-influenced, chamber-pop vibe. Her ever-evolving career path has seen her fair share of collaborations (Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, and The Decemberists to name a few) and now five peculiar and distinctive studio albums, all while racking up comparisons to Goldfrapp, Fever Ray, Annie Lenox, and Regina Spektor. All valid comparisons.

A Million and One, My Brightest Diamond's newest album, is somewhat of a rollercoaster of all their past persuasions with a slant toward techno-pop. Opener "It's Me on the Dance Floor"along with the more upbeat "Champagne," "You Wanna See My Teeth," and "Supernova"exemplify this newfound focus with the use of bristling beats, experimental electronics, and animated arrangements. It's somewhat of a startling shift and a sonic jolt, but one that fits tightly with Nova's razor-sharp and operatic voice.  

The slower tunes are no less entertaining but tend to be more luminous and are done in a brooding, cinematic style, highlighted by Nova's powerful and radiant vocals while incorporating stark and psychedelic electronic touches. The layered sonic textures often explore contrasting moods with the melodies coming in waves that thrash around with electronic percussives and snappy beats.

As on all My Brightest Diamond's albums, Nova's haunting warble charms with a resonant distinction, only this time around they are augmented with multi-layered backing vocals swirling in the background that pop out to surprise, like ghosts coming out of the woodwork not to spook but to thrill.

Nova continues to impress with her knack for extracting various pop and rock elements from the past to create tunes that push and cross many boundaries yet somehow remain fresh. But the beauty of A Million and One lies in the way that repeated plays will reveal blithe pop songs formed into dynamic and vibrant tunes that pack some power and buzz, justifying the similarities to the innovative and well established female artists mentioned above. (www.mybrightestdiamond.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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