Review of Lenka's self-titled album released through Columbia.
Lenka, formally of Indie-electro outfit Decoder Ring brings us her self titled pop-folk debut. Heralding from Australia, Lenka has now made her home in California and her album has achieved success in the US. This was no doubt helped in part by the fact that a number of her songs have been featured on programmes such as Ugly Betty and on TV commercials.
Lenka has produced an unashamedly sugary pop record with tinkering keys, light percussion, strings and a spattering of brass over the top. The upbeat bounce along sound of the album disguises the relatively dark lyrical content which covers subjects of lost love, ill-fated relationships and introspection.
Kicking off with the popular US single The Show, Lenka compares life to a show with a wry smile, singing 'I want my money back'. Her songs do have a catchy quality; Bring Me Down and Anything I'm Not stand out with good hooks and lyrically the latter shines with Lenka reflecting and struggling with everyday issues; 'give me a break, a little escape, I am so tired of being me' she sings, but still keeps those innocent and breezy vocals. Towards the end of the album, she drops the pace with Live Like You're Dying and Live A Song but they are not different enough to the rest of the album to create any diversity.
Although her sound is well suited to radio play, the album as a whole is a bit repetitive. The songs lack differentiation and the upbeat, saccharine sound and vocals can be a bit much. She has been dubbed as Lily Allen without the cynicism but that comparison might disappoint, unfortunately Lenka falls slightly short of the mark.