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Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open Music Album Reviews

Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open Music Album Reviews
Pairing her simple, unaffected vocal style with carefully synthesized arrangements, the Chicago-based musician departs from her indie-rock foundations in search of musical and personal freedom.

Lillie West wants to capture an impossible feeling in her music: being so present in the moment that time doesn’t exist. On I Want the Door to Open, her third album as Lala Lala, the London-born, Chicago-based musician embraces the possibilities afforded by digital recording as a means of conjuring her own impossible utopia.

On 2018’s The Lamb, West recorded songs about her sobriety with a three-piece rock combo, playing many of the parts herself to prove that she could. But for I Want the Door to Open, she sought a new sound to serve her more cryptic and less confessional lyrics, and to help break her out of what she called “the indie rock box”. She wrote for instruments less familiar to her, like piano and bass, in order to rely on her melodic intuition. Working alongside co-producer Yoni Wolf, of WHY?, and an array of musician friends, West creates expansive synthesized environments to fill with her earnest, intimate voice.

I Want the Door to Open slips into new grooves on each track, like a mind in a perfect state of creative flow. The shuffling feel of “Color of the Pool” is accentuated by a synthesized bass line West wrote after listening to a loop of the track for 30 minutes straight. “Castle Life” begins as a four-on-the-floor beat but shifts into more intricate guitar and drum interplay once West insists “I do, I do/I move, I move” in the first chorus. West’s lyrics are oblique but rooted in natural imagery like rabbits crossing a road through settling fog.

The shapelessness of the album can sometimes feel indecisive, but “DIVER” has an irresistible chorus, with West joyously “swimming out towards my new life” over swelling strings and propulsive drumming by Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. Even if she’s caught in the tides, she’s free from impenetrable screens and faces distorted in windows, a life spent refreshing a never-ending feed. The narrator compares herself to Sisyphus, the mythological Greek king doomed to roll a stone uphill forever as punishment for cheating Death, but here the effort that accompanies eternal struggle turns out to be its own exhilarating reward.

West searches for freedom in each song, a pursuit that feels particularly universal after months of pandemic-induced repetition. On “Lava,” she wants to look right into the camera, breaking the imaginary boundary between surveyor and subject. She swallows a bird and exhales a tangerine on “Straight & Narrow,” defying natural laws like an alchemist. She wants to be the see-through “Color of the Pool” and wants to touch the heat of a fuel source without getting burned. She frequently writes about breaking boundaries, as if recognizing the impossibility of her imagined utopia. In West’s simple, unaffected vocal style, these lyrics feel like a dare to herself and the listener. And when she plainly sings, “You’re living like you’re on a screen,” on “Prove It,” it sounds like gentle advice from a friend.

The freedom West seeks isn’t isolation but its opposite: to understand and to be understood by a community with perfect clarity. Her musician friends help bring the songs to life, and the best guests are the singers that emphasize the emotion in West’s performance like actors sharing a scene. Ben Gibbard’s clear delivery on “Plates” is a foil to West’s comfortable mumble, while on “Straight & Narrow” Kara Jackson stretches her voice to add flourishes to West’s melody. “Photo Photo” is a brief round featuring Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham of Ohmme, sung with the intimacy of a vocal warm-up.

The penultimate song, “Utopia Planet,” concludes with West’s grandma Beth affectionately describing one of West’s painted self-portraits as someone from another world. It’s a touching example of mutual understanding, spontaneous but rich in interpersonal history, swaddled in layers of Sen Morimoto’s saxophone. The album ends with a brief coda in the form of “GB,” a recording of her grandmother singing a verse from a song from the 1930s. Midway through the song, she stumbles on a lyric, then chuckles as she catches herself. It’s an unexpected and heartwarming moment: a fleeting reminder of the passage of time that makes being present in the moment feel all the more real.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open Music Album Reviews Lala Lala - I Want the Door to Open Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, October 21, 2021 Rating: 5

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