Missed Connections

Monica Lionheart

Independent release, 2016


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Formerly the frontwoman for Zigmat Monica Lionheart has been solo since 2011. A native of Puerto Rico who cut her teeth at music schools in Boston and New York, Lionheart has garnered much attention with her Spanish/English first album, titled Indian Summer.

While Indian Summer was more a folky and country adventure, her second release my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Missed Connections doesn't waste anytime jumping into sleek, contemporary electro-pop. Lead track “Strangers” comes with vocal effects and a playful version of indie rock. “Taylor” follows with unique time signatures and more focus on percussion, where a fuller chorus could make for a radio hit. On the other hand, “Jonah” is pure indie pop with quirky synth and a slower pace that really allows for Lionheart's smooth, sweet, flawless vocals to shine. “Diamonds And Ashes” continues that pace with an almost lullaby feel, where gentle acoustic guitars give way to computer noises before returning to softness. “Street Fighter” closes out the first half with programmed drumming and a pop rock feel that could easily soundtrack any dance floor.

The second half starts off high with “Ghost,” a sparse duet Gabriel Rios that aches and swells with an orchestral feel and segues into a lush expanse of sophistication and grace. Lionheart doesn't try to hide the fact that much of the album is indebted to the '80s, and “Sure Fire” is one of the most obvious examples of this with its innocuous Top 40 meets New Wave mashing. Similarly, “Thief” is an upbeat dance song, also '80s influenced, that wouldn't be out of place on the FM dial in any of the last three decades. Lionheart closes the album out by going back to basics with mostly her voice and an acoustic guitar (well, there's a small amount of electronica in the background), bringing out an influence that's more aligned with the folk-pop of her earlier work.

Lionheart has clearly spent time with several different genres of music, many of which converge here for an electro-pop collection that's not your standard version by any means. The hooks, vocal work, and production alone will keep listeners plenty interested in these 10 songs.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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