Liza Anne: Utopian (Antifragile Music) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Liza Anne

Utopian

Antifragile Music

Dec 06, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If you’re not on your feet and dancing by the time Utopian’s opening track, “Cheerleader,” has been playing for 60 seconds, you might need to check your pulse: there’s every chance you might be dead. Its infectious combination of synthy, brassy, pop-funk is a sure-fire floor-filler, not to mention Liza Anne’s joyous gay and non-binary coming-out calling card.

The similarly galvanizing “Rainbow Sweater” channels Masseduction-era St. Vincent, tinged with a punk sensibility amid its celebration of the self. And, when Anne asks, “Who made you think that you can’t cry?/I want to see the real you/Don’t you want to see them, too?,” “It’s Cool To Care” achieves instant indie disco anthem status. There’s so much to love about the way in which they pin their colors to the mast in this record, but it’s not all unbridled joy.

On “Shania Twain Is Making Me Cry” Anne unpicks a break-up, in the process showcasing some of the most incisive writing on how the end of a relationship can feel like a foreign country. And, most starkly, the down-tempo “Internet Depression” absolutely nails the disenchantment inherent in online friendships. “There’s such a strange pain to the internet when you’re feeling disillusioned with you own life…it’s like being constantly confronted with everyone’s best side,” explains Liza Anne. “I thought, for years, that the experience of love was one of projection and dissociation—saying something enough so that hopefully you really meant it eventually. It is so relieving to understand that isn’t the case—I was never meant to be with a cis man because I’m a lesbian.”

Bouncing, country-pop standout “Treat Me” is further evidence of Anne’s aptitude for not only songwriting, but also production, with its many-layered synths, and acoustic guitar making ample room for their addictively distinctive vocals to shine. Über-catchy title track, “Utopian” employs an art rock/shoegaze pincer movement to obliterate preconceptions of loss. And, speaking of happy endings, Utopian closes with a divine evocation of gladness in “Thank You For Your Time,” wrapping the record up on a note of hope, satisfaction, and contentment.

This is a record that defies genres, brims over with joy one moment, yet broods with introspection the next; a rollercoaster of emotions which, at its heart, is a wonderful celebration and expression of love, self-discovery, acceptance, and thanks. (www.lizaannemusic.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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