Fallulah: Escapism — Imagine if you will, one of the more powerful of the female characters in Game Of Thrones decided to put out a modern pop album today. This might be a stretch and I might just be excited about Game Of Thrones coming back, but that’s what I’m thinking Escapism sounds like. Many of the songs have a gravitas that is created by really rich drumming that is almost tribal in its rhythm. Honestly, some of the drumming sounds like it is emanating the the hull of a ship about to attack in Black Water. If you don’t watch Game Of Thrones simply imagine a battle weary medieval tempo being executed by a myriad of drums. In addition to the medieval nature of much of the instrumentation, there is also a powerful nature to the mixing of Fallulah‘s voice that is as endearing as it is enjoyable. The first time you listen to this album you will enjoy it. The songs are catchy, yet rich in sound.
Some of the more fun songs on the album beg the listener to bob their head back and forth. The beat is simply too infectious… You will be moving. ‘Superfishyality’ is probably the most fun song of the album, but it is also perhaps the best example of her unclear lyrics. The title would lead you to believe that she is wary of superficiality, but lyrics such as, “Superfishyality/ good enough for me“ might lead you to believe that it is more of a song about relaxing and enjoying some of the more superficial and simpler things in life. Either of these sentiments could be true because later, the song ‘Car Window’ seems to highlight a frustration with traveling too much, but that message isn’t the most clear. On one hand, there’s the line, “I couldn’t be more happy“ and in the same song you also hear “I keep thinking I’m gonna die.“ Fallulah‘s Danish descent could be responsible for the confusion. Maybe sarcasm is the reason for the confusion. In either case, both songs are fun despite their muddled message.
I’d like to highlight a couple of the more interesting subjects in the songs on Escapism. ‘Deserted Homes’ talks about the sadness felt when your home town changes. ‘Dried-out Cities’, ‘Your Skin’, and ‘Come Into My Heart’ are all pretty straight forward songs about being powerless against love, but ‘He’ll Break Up With You When Summer’s Over’ seems to warn the listener about becoming powerless. Fallulah takes steps outside the norm with a couple of songs as well. The title track, ‘Escapism’ begins simply and sweetly with the light strumming of a mandolin, but it ends with a wild cacophony of drums. It’s like a dance break that literally gives the audience an escape from the rest of the album. ’13th Cigarette’ really steps outside the box both rhythmically and instrumentation-wise. It has an electronic edge that pauses in between instrument flourishes. ‘Dragon’ is a crazy synthy dance song whose imagery seemingly proves my Game Of Thrones theory.
If there is a problem with the album it will occur after a few listens. You realize that the metaphors don’t work quite as well and there are a lot of repeating themes. In some ways, this is an album caught in the middle. It’s not quite introspective enough to warrant a more serious tone and it’s not quite fun enough to match some of the more fun writing. It may be unfair to ask an album to be something different that what it is and this is probably more of a problem of expectation. With musical landscape conditions like these, you come to expect certain lyrical themes married to certain sounds, and I personally found a little dissonance between the two in Escapism. I found myself wishing it was either more poppy or more crazy, but this may not be an experienced shared by most. The degree to which the album is enjoyed is the variable, whether or not it is enjoyed is not.
All in all, this is an incredibly enjoyable album. There are high and lows. Maybe I didn’t understand all of the metaphors, but if you’re looking for an elevation above the typical pop album from a young singer-songwriter, you will not be disappointed…6.5/10