Album Review: Lena – Crystal Sky

Lena Crystal Sky

Lena embraces electronic pop on fourth record
This month, it is already five years ago that Lena Meyer-Landrut from Germany managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest with her song ‘Satellite’. Although she didn’t enjoy much European success after that first hit, she still is one of the biggest pop stars in her home country. She just released her fourth album which is called Crystal Sky and it was preceeded by the single ‘Traffic Lights‘. On this album Lena embraces electronic pop and delivers an album full of strong and adventurous productions and compositions.

While Lena’s first two records were somewhat all over the place with songs in all kinds of styles from all kinds of composers, from her third album on, she seemed to have more of an idea of where she wanted to go as an artist. She continues this trend even clearer on her fourth record, that could be described as a cohesive collection of tracks and not an album with a few hits and fillers. Lena co-wrote most of the tracks which shows her artistic involvement in her own music has grown over the years. The album has an intriguing start with the song ‘The Girl’, a slightly unusual, but definitely captivating song with a powerful chorus that is enhanced by a full and adventurous production.

Songs like ‘4 Sleeps’ about counting the days until seeing your lover again, the single worthy ‘Keep On Living’ and ‘All Kinds of Crazy’ have a similar structure with a chorus that mainly repeats the song title, but the tracks never bore, because the build up in every song makes you pay attention throughout. One important trick that brings variation in the repetitive character of some of the tracks is the use of vocal effects, that slightly remind me of the sound of British pop star Ellie Goulding every once in a while. On one of the standout tracks ‘Beat To My Melody’, we hear a great pop chorus with a daring way of producing and the use of these vocal effects that takes it to an even higher plan.

It is striking to hear that Lena and her producers know exactly how to use her voice. She does not have the broadest range or most versatile vocals, but on this record she sounds better than ever. On ‘Lifeline’ for example, she is convincing and powerful offering her help to a friend in need. The same goes for ‘Invisible’, that sees Lena trying out some drum and bass. Title track ‘Crystal Sky’ is one of the more conventional pop songs, that could have been on any of Lena’s earlier albums, but at the same time, it has one of the best choruses on the record. Almost every single track on Crystal Sky adds something to the character and vibe of the record, that sees another great step for the singer who once charmed Europe with a simple performance and has now grown into an interesting pop artist with a distinctive sound.

Must listen: Traffic Lights, The Girl, Beat To My Melody, Invisisble, Lifeline

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