Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Lindsay Ell – Criminal

What we need is a good defense…


[Video]
[6.29]

Julian Axelrod: Lindsay Ell pulls a reverse Maren Morris, transposing a tropical-house guitar riff into more traditional country trappings. But while Ell radiates charisma and that guitar explodes into a solo with a mind of its own, this is less “The Middle” and more middle of the road.
[6]

Ryo Miyauchi: Lindsay Ell’s pop-infused country reveals nothing novel about the formula, other than the fact that it doesn’t need much tweaking. She goes through well-worn metaphors for hot, uncontrollable desire like a writing exercise, but the pop burst and the melodies aligning right into a pocket justify the cliché.
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Dorian Sinclair: The word of the day is “enjambment,” and Ell’s skillful deployment thereof in the first verse catches the ear immediately, pulling forward to the chorus in what feels like no time at all. The rest of the song doesn’t quite recapture the initial high, but I appreciate its easy simmer, as well as just how far Ell manages to push that central metaphor.
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Iain Mew: In some songs, like some horror movies, the tension that comes with glimpses of the unknown can be much more powerful than the thing fully revealed. Lindsay Ell singing about pacing tigers while the guitar unwinds like a raised tail promises so much more than a chorus with such obvious resolutions to the musical and lyrical themes can deliver.
[6]

Will Adams: The metaphor dump becomes a bit wearying at times, even eyebrow raising (are caged tigers criminals?). But the production — via the neatly packaged guitar riff and flourishes like reverb tails and reversed drum fills — evokes the sheen of early ’00s pop-rock. I’m both won over and curious about whether The Matrix were somehow involved.
[6]

Alfred Soto: The momentum and guitar solos offer considerable help to this Canadian singer’s rocker, compensating for the undistinguished production. Here’s hoping it crosses over to pop, even if only in the mid-thirties.
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: Shame Lindsay Ell is recording in 2018 and not 1998, when this would get the mass audience it deserves (assuming it was retitled so it didn’t share a name with Fiona’s song). These days, it’s siloed into a country genre that still hasn’t fixed its female-artist problem. In 1998 it’d still be cut-rate Sheryl Crow, but I miss that.
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Reader average: [9] (2 votes)

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