by Pat Fox
Quit the Curse is the solo debut album from Detroit born singer/song writer Anna Burch. Having previously sung with Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers, Quit the Curse marks Burch’s return to music after a several year hiatus to complete her higher education. Sitting somewhere between Jangle and Dream Pop on the alt Indie spectrum, the nine track album is out now.
Starting with the absentee lover of ‘2 Cool 2 Care’, Burch and …Curse starts as it means to go on. With an Andante tempo rhythm and upbeat arrangement, working with a well-blended harmony, it produces a bouncy, poppy texture to the song. But these light and happy tunes masks the juxtaposition of the lyrics. With an emotionally abusive partner, and fears hidden behind passive aggressive Suburban Blues, ‘2 Cool’ creates discord without ever striking a wrong note.
Again, in ‘Tea Soaked Leather’, a poppy arrangement juxtaposed with the lyrics hiding heartache after a breakup. In ‘Belle Isle’, again the light, almost breezy song, hides rougher slice of life lyrics about seeing your Ex reflected in so many other people; while ‘What I want’ deals with hiding the impotent rage at seeing your erstwhile lover getting on with their lives while you can’t seem to move on.
While not exactly a concept album, it does seem to follow the idea of life post rough relationship and break up. Not shouting matches or anger but the emotional weight that hits after everything has been screamed out. Everything on the outside has to seem fine. Everything in the mind is full of melancholy regret. The idea of an overarching narrative is strengthen by the use of lyric vs. music juxtaposition.
And that’s the problem with Curse, the repetitive tone of the album.
Taken individually, the tracks are great. Well-structured with excellent harmony arrangement that adds to the clash between music tone and lyric meaning. As singles they would do well. As an album they blur into one long track without anything to divide it up; a never ceasing arrangement of tempo and tone. Even a book needs to change it up between chapters to make the story develop and come alive.
Quit the Curse is a fine debut album if you dip into it every so often. Taken all together at once the emotional lyrics and musical harmony blurs into one long background track where everything and anything becomes lost as you zone out of it.
Take my advice and listen to it in small stages, 3 songs at a time, maximum, over the course of the day.
As music it hits all the right notes. As an album it breaks them.
Quit the Curse is out now via Heavenly.