Olivia [OLIVIA inspi’ REIRA (TRAPNEST)] (Third Album)

October 14, 2008

a little pain
Wish
Starless Night
Shadow of Love
Tell me
Rock you
Winter sleep
Recorded Butterflies -Studio Live-
Wish -Live-
a little pain -Studio Live-

The first track is my favorite song by Olivia, a little pain. I heard this song back when I was debating on whether I was going to get into the anime NANA, it was the series’ first ending theme and I fell instantly in love. The arrangement is so dark and painful but it offers you some sort of light. Olivia’s vocals were gorgeous in this especially when she utters, ‘no need to cry’ I love the background vocals towards the end as well. This is just a really great and stand-out song and a perfect one to start off the album, It really makes you anxious to hear the rest.

The next track on the album is the rock-laced Wish. This song has some positive things going for it such as its a pretty interesting song. Though it all falls to the wayside when you realize how chaotic and off-balance the song really is. The drums and electric guitar I heard in the arrangement did not mesh well at all and made the song a bit grating. Then Olivia’s vocals were way off, it seemed like she was trying too hard and a lot of the time she was off-key. This song is not really bad, but its all over the place and I can’t be bothered with it.

The next track on the album is the rock-ish Starless Night. I had to listen to this song twice and I still don’t really know what I want to say about it. I mean the arrangement is pretty uninteresting, a lot of the time it sounded like background noise and then it just got overwhelming especially towards the very end when it starts sounding like straight static. Olivia’s vocal performance was nice, I didn’t care for the verses, but the chorus was pretty good and made this song a lot more interesting than it would have been otherwise. I’d have to say I’m on the fence with this song, but the chorus is good so I’ll cut it some slack.

The next track is the lukewarm Shadow of Love. It started off promising enough and then Olivia starts singing. Olivia’s voice isn’t bad, but it does tend to become impossible and that in turn ruins some pretty good songs in my opinion. I’m sure this was suppose to be some sort of heart-wrenching tale of lost love–what with how dark and moody the arrangement was–but Olivia puts way too much emotion in her voice and not in a good way but in a: ‘can’t you tell I’m trying entirely too hard to tug at your heart-strings?’ kind of way. It was all very annoying and the song after a while became just noise to me.

The next track is the grating Tell me. It gets worse than Shadow of Love with this poor excuse for a rock track, everything about this song from the chaotically bad arrangement to Olivia’s poor vocal performance was lank and mediocre; nothing about this song stood out and I was just waiting for it to end–this song is just bad.

The next track is the mid-tempo Rock you. After the last two disappointing tracks I went into this one with absolutely no expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. This track is rock-oriented just like the previous tracks have been, but its a good one and that’s a welcome relief because I was just beginning to lose hope in this album. The arrangement is nothing special, but it has enough going for it to keep it interesting and keep you engaged. Olivia’s vocals were also quite good in this, she went more for a slow approach bringing her tone up only slightly during the chorus. I liked how she didn’t try to do too much and that made this an enjoyable listen.

The next track on the album is the sorrowful Winter sleep. I knew I was going to like this song and not because I think the title is so beautiful. The arrangement is very slow, the mournful playing of the piano, very heart-wrenching. I thought Olivia’s vocal performance was gorgeous, she put the right amount of emotion an depth into her voice to make this a wonderful listen; despite the fact that the song can come across as very depressing and emo, it’s still a good song and in the same league as a little pain.

The next track is the live version of Recorded Butterflies. After listening to this I’m wondering why Olivia didn’t decide to do studio lives of all of her songs on here, I’m sure she could have done them a lot more justice that way. I really like the title of this song and not only that but the arrangement really pounds into you, and her voice live is much better an that’s a plus.

The second to last song on the album is the live version of Wish. I think I spoke to soon, because the studio version of this is even worse than the original version. I don’t know how Olivia managed to make an already bad song even worse, but this version is even more unintelligible. I couldn’t understand anything she was saying and the arrangement played like a bunch of noise. Then at the end for some reason I heard clapping–if I had been there I would have most likely just been standing there giving Olivia the ‘straight face’.

The last track on the album is the live version of a little pain. I still like the original more, but the studio version of this song is pretty good as well.

-GRADE: C
Rating: *1/2 stars

Olivia’s third album OLIVIA inspi’ REIRA (TRAPNEST) is sadly very brief and very boring. I’m not sure how the album went from great with a little pain and then lukewarm with the studio version of the same song. Olivia’s vocals throughout this album were not strong or even very good–it only shun in four songs, those being: a little pain, Rock you, Winter sleep and Recorded Butterflies. The rest were just abysmal. The arrangements with the exclusion of the four songs mentioned were very static and played like a bunch of noise. I know that this album leaned more towards rock than anything else, but it sounded like the sounds were made in a garage because they sounded very amateurish. I’m not an Olivia fan, but I do appreciate and like some of her music. This album does not do her justice.

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