By Brittanny Bickman
From the deep confines of Phoenix, Arizona arises one-woman project R.ariel, headed by Rachel Crocker. On May 27, 2015 a masterpiece was unleashed and the world is at peace one again. Changer, the latest album release of R.ariel creates a beautiful, experimental, sleepy atmosphere.
We first find ourselves deeply enthralled in the first track “Inside.” This vibe-y somnolent tune is paired with pleasant, jazzy vocals and intelligent lyrics. Stylistically, this seems to be a theme throughout the album. The third track, “Life As It Seems”, shows a different side to R.ariel’s sound and is a personal favorite. It provides listeners with a tune that’s got a bit more drive than most of the other tracks. With bouncy synth sounds and laid back hip-hop-esque beats, you may find yourself tapping your foot to this sweet little beauty. Another stand out track on the album was “Florence.’” The music is very minimal and ethereal, and the vocals are hauntingly beautiful. The song is so simple but so melodious.
Overall, I enjoyed this album. The vocals were a compelling presence in each song and at times were very reminiscent of Cat Power and Feist, both whom are delightful powerhouses. The style and sound of the album tended to blend together in a way that there were times I found myself expecting/hoping for “something more.” However, the result of this blended effect gives an impression that there will never be a wrong place or time for this album as it creates a subtle invitation to experience the music rather than demanding your attention with unnecessary deterrents from the core of the song. Changer bestows upon us a presence of melancholy and verve, a collection of timeless tunes. Great job, R.ariel, keep it up.