To put it simply, had you not read this sentence, you may never
have heard of the name Carina Round. Being a relative unknown in
the states, Round’s latest album, The Disconnection,
has received little to no press. That makes listening to the album
even more of a pleasure; the album stands alone as a promising
piece in a field of formulaic and common releases.

The Disconnection is compelling music that embodies
varying emotions, like pain, anger, deliberation and mulling. The
album is a testament to reflection and analysis, each song
proceeding as if a greater idea is being confronted. There is no
single sound to identify the album; driven by Round’s vocals,
The Disconnection is a mixture of jazz, blues and acoustic
rock. Songs like “Motel 74” employ the album’s
minimal background vocals and ring through with the remorse and
urgency of a woman collecting herself in the shadows of a rented
room.

Round’s vocals, however, are what make the album a mixing
bowl of music genres and singing approaches. At times, Round sings
with a directed force comparable to Shirley Manson of Garbage,
while at other times she yields the eerily similar tone of Fiona
Apple and Natalie Imbruglia. But Round, in the end, sounds much
like a mixture of all of rock’s angry women on valium —
there is a pacificied and thoughtful capitalization in her words
that makes songs like “Lacuna” sound both sultry and
wary.

The album’s most appealing and promising song is the aptly
titled “Elegy.” Singing “I’m skirting the
rim of reality / Don’t pull me in,” Round sounds a
little more hung up on things than she claimed in stating that the
album is about letting go. It is this impression of lingering,
whether false or not, which propels The
Disconnection
’s overall standing as a compelling piece of
introspection. In refusing to stay within one genre of music or
vocal styling, Round creates a truly captivating album that rings
with the maturity of a veteran artist. The album’s importance
stands in its potential to be a capable flagship for female
artists, bringing back to music something that’s not
Beyoncé, not Avril, not Christina but, rather, something
disconnected and compelling.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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