Review of Elviin's album 'Made Of' released through Clicks 'n' Claps.
It's always good to have a bit of background about an artist releasing their debut album. Elviin, from South London, lost his musical way during art school, but found himself purchasing a piano without actually knowing how to play it. Must have worked; a piano features heavily on 'Made Of', an album that shows there is thankfully still some natural talent on these shores.
'In Colour' seems immediately recognisable and with a bit of research, it turns out the track found itself on both the A-list of a popular mainstream radio station and in a Channel 4 drama earlier in 2009. It sets the course for the rest of the album; upbeat and bright with deep, soulful vocals.
'Good Books' has a piano intro reminiscent of John Legend, but Elviin's vocals are typically British. The use of handclaps raises the spirit of any track, and that's no exception here in the chorus.
The nicely-titled 'Worth Getting Arrested For' is the first fully soul-sounding track on the album; piano is merged with drums, but Elviin's vocals seemingly fight for prominence. He doesn't always succeed and on the higher notes, gets drowned out. A slightly different arrangement and that could be easily fixed.
Elviin's vocals in 'The Sun and I' seem more mature than in 'Rise', which is much livelier and storms through its three minutes; it's not a case of the vocals are better in one than another, rather it's good to hear the variety. If there's one trap Elviin could fall into, it's making songs that sound very similar to each other.
After the pleasure of listening to the first half of the album, the second half is a little more of a struggle. Shortest track on the album, 'The Clock' has a more raw sound; it's man and his piano doing their thing, which is enjoyable enough but lacks the appeal that some of the other tracks instantaneously offer. By this point it's no longer a surprise to find Elviin can sing and that the album has been relatively well produced. The album lacks any real variety; however, Elviin is incredibly good at the particular genre he's focusing on; soul and having embarked on a tour with Alesha Dixon recently, Elviin must be the proud owner of plenty of new followers; it's difficult to imagine he would disappoint in a live environment.
Aside from its lack of variety, this debut album is a nice collection of well-written songs from somebody who is obviously enjoying his turn in the spotlight.