Lilygun - 'Strength & Grace' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 28, 2018    
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I can't see this having much appeal to the readers (or writers) of Fireworks and Rocktopia.

I remember reviewing the debut self-titled Lilygun album for issue #54 back in 2012. Though my thoughts were positive on the whole, my main reservations concerned the vocals of the band's leader and vocalist Anna-Christina. Unfortunately, those reservations come to the fore again on this new sophomore release 'Strength & Grace'. The singer has suffered with health issues in recent years, so I must commend her on her own strength and dedication in continuing with the project she obviously loves. Lilygun have built up a healthy fan base in London, where they tend to concentrate their activities, but outside the capital they seem to be relatively unknown.

The Lilygun musical style is darkly Gothic and quite sombre in tone and I will try to create a scene to illustrate how it impacts. "You stumble across a Gothic clothing/craft shop in Whitby or York or somewhere similar. In the window are decorative skulls, dragons, gargoyles and endless rows of candles. You walk inside. It is dark and there is incense burning, creating a heady atmosphere. Behind the counter is a beautiful girl with long black hair. In the background music is playing. It is the 'Strength & Grace' album and it is on repeat".

That's an image that came to mind immediately following just one play after my own experiences in establishments of that type. It is all very downbeat and an air of melancholy tends to prevail. The pacing lacks variety and the sedate nature of the material is uninspiring and makes it difficult to maintain interest levels. 'What Goes Around' and the hook of 'Free Instead' aside, there is no real sense of urgency or energy. Anna-Christina has a decent voice, but it feels as though she's never really pushing herself and that is one of the missing factors needed to inject the songs with some identity.

'Strength & Grace' contains just eight tracks and has a short running time (just over thirty minutes), but after several plays I felt as though more of my day had passed. I'm always reluctant to give a negative review and the Lilygun fans out there will probably disagree with my musings. I can't see this having much appeal to the readers (or writers) of Fireworks and Rocktopia so maybe the band's success is dependent on a rather different audience.

Dave Bott

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