This sounds like an early Mandy Moore album. Bubble gum pop. Sunny and sweet. I remember Michelle Chamuel on Season 4 of The Voice resplendent in awkwardness and cool quirkiness. In fact in her interview before the blind auditions she stated: “I think I represent nerdy people. People misunderstand me sometimes because as an introvert, people have thought I was aloof.” I wish there was much more of that here. Is she trying too hard to be a hit-maker? I don’t watch much of The Voice but sometimes check out the blind auditions. Instead I feel whoever worked with her pushed her to do things she might not have chosen to do. In one round on The Voice she does a heartfelt and stunning stripped-down version of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” Keane is one of my favorite British bands.The band creates sublime melodies and impressive arrangements. On her debut Face the Fire I’d prefer a bit more edge and strange rather than such a polished final product.
Title track “Face the Fire” is all glossiness and dance-able beat. Starts out promising but quickly veers toward over-produced. “Golden” slows down and showcases Chamuel’s vocal range as she flickers up and down on the chorus. There’s the cheerful “Rock Out” with its super infectious beat and sugary, optimistic chorus: “do what you do/ say what you do/ you better rock it your own way.” Pure bubblegum “Made for Me” boasts kicky electro-beat and whispery vocals. “Money” features Katy Perry-like melodies and honeyed vocals. It’s okay but in the end nothing stands out. There’s nothing novel on this album. Nothing that’s not been done or heard before. It’s a collection of extremely upbeat songs that seep into one another.
Face the Fire
The End Records
Release date: February 10, 2015
purchase at Amazon: Face The Fire