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Lesley Roy “Unbeautiful” (2008) November 15, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Lesley Roy.
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Written by Andrew

Lesley Roy is the hottest new tamale on the rock music scene…or the pop music scene…or both? Let’s not kid ourselves, the Irish bombshell is certain to be considered more pop than rock when the world catches up with her talent, though she’s already being featured by Best Buy as a major up-and-coming artist. The big however is that, while on the surface Roy sounds like the next Avril Lavigne, you’re sure to find after some deep digging that there’s a lot more rocker chick underneath the pretty girl exterior than you’re probably ready for, which is why her debut album Unbeautiful may be one hell of a punch in the face.

“I’m Gone, I’m Going” is the potential number one hit waiting as the disc spins up, kicking off with an energetic guitar riff (played by Roy no less, rocker points for that) that gets your body hopping right away. Here low quick vocals cut in shortly after until the she builds up the momentous chorus, a powerful and addictive drug which begs to be sung along to, even if you can’t match her amazing range. Roy brings out the big gun right away with this song and is sure to capture your attention by the end of it. Which brings me to point two, good luck listening to intense opening seconds of “Here For You Now” without thinking you just stepped into rock and roll heaven. After that opening lick of the guitar sucks you in, Roy’s voice once again encapsulates you in a catchy chorus, and really song as a whole, that whips you into a frenzy of delightful pop rock.

So yeah, Lesley Roy has proven she can rock instruments and your body, but certainly like most other pop rock acts she has a generic back up band right? Yes and no is the direct answer to that question, Roy is backed by different players on most of the albums songs, but that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t fit to play. The drumming on songs like “I’m Gone, I’m Going” and “Psycho Bitch” is energetic and varied, with explosive fills adding to the intensity of Roy’s powerful vocal styles. Roy handles most of her guitar work in a very nice way, adding different riffs mid-song, and mixing up her repertoire from everything to fast-paced rocker numbers, to the slow acoustic ballads. And trust me, she has plenty of the latter.

Roy’s biggest weakness so far may be her inability to write anything overly creative lyrically. Most songs deal with typical themes of boy-loves-girl, or girl-hates-boy, though credit should be given for the lyrics “When I look at you, I wanna get a room,” which shows that sometimes cock rock isn’t just for Hinder or Buckcherry. Don’t worry though, Roy’s major theme is not sex and drugs, just your typical achy-breaky ballads, of which there are too many really.

Roy’s strength lies in the aforementioned high energy tunes which stick in your head for weeks, and lot of slower tracks such as the title track are a little too slow and uneventful to remember long after the album is put down. The exception here lies in late album appearances like “Crushed” and “Come To Your Senses” which echo the powerful voice transitions of earlier tracks. Among these it is the former that really stands out with a great piano intro which cues Roy’s voice. These two are the only elements of the song present for near a minute before an acoustic guitar adds to a hauntingly beautiful ambiance. The song progressively increases in tempo following the first chorus when the drum beat finally kicks in and by the time you’ve hit the final time Roy belts out “I’d be crushed if you walked away, I’d be lost, I’d be drowning in grey,” you are thrust into a hurricane of a power ballad which sticks with you.

Songs like “Misfit” and “Come Back” are equally attractive late album options and actually make the closing bit of the album a bit better than the opening half. While the progress the opening tracks make is made moot by the somewhat lame “Slow Goodbye”, this disc picks up steam once it hits track nine and doesn’t let go until the end, which is thirteen tracks by the way. That’s a fairly impressive number considering the length of most CDs today, and it’s certainly a great ride throughout. Though the slow spots are very slow and uneventful, Roy’s voice and general ability to mix a good beat, along with some great production, make this album speed right by, and you may very well be hitting the repeat button afterward.

The Point – Wow does Lesley Roy have an A-game. Her ability to write catchy songs and sing them to their fullest extent will wow a lot of people expecting another typical pop-rocker. Roy’s progress is hindered by barely creative lyrics and a few slow songs that bring you off cloud nine, but for the most part this debut album is a solid entry into the biz for Roy, and will have you hooked and hoping for more by album’s end.

8 out of 10

Download This – “Psycho Bitch”

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