Name of Album: learning form falling
Ratings: Personal - 3 General - 3
Release Date: July 30, 2002
Granted Lamya has a sweet voice (five-octave range) which has worked for the best of them: Bowie, (James) Brown, Duran Duran, Kidjo and even Soul II Soul, and her lyrics are all based on poems she's written throughout her life, yet despite these formidable artistic credentials, I was not all too impressed.
This initial impression unsettles me a bit because reviewing this record cam right upon the heels of a recommendation from a friend whose tastes I usually find correlate with my own. This trusty reviewer was so excited about Lamya that she wanted to send a copy immediately from overseas in the UK. Perhaps,. It is because they are fellow Brits that the opera-trained diva appealed to my musically trained comrade. Whatever connection was made, it wasn't meant to happen for me.
I suppose my less than impressed first impression must be blamed o the first track fo this lackluster album. Empires, sounds like a soft-core Eartha Kitt, without the wit and the grit and drama that made Catwoman's musical work masterpieces of satire.
Granted Lamya's voice does carry her through many of the selections and her lyrics are droll enough to be interesting, but I just was not fully swayed. In fact, her style reminds me a lot of Cassandra Wilson, but without the resonating melancholy and depth of both her swaying voice and resounding lyrics.
The one exception of the standard stilted-voice-singing-poetry formula here that moved me over into "okay, I could listen to this again," territory was Splitting Atoms, which contains the lyrics from which the album derives its title ("I'm learning from falling down/Hard/Lessons/Yes, I'm/Learning from falling").
Otherwise, I would not chose this album over Kidjo, Jill Scott or even fresh on the scene French chanteuse, Coralie Clément. This album gets a B plus for effort and potential, and C (3) for "Don't buy Lamya just yet."