Single Review: Ruth Lorenzo – ‘Burn’

“Whilst Lorenzo takes the song in her stride, the longer it draws on the more plodding and mundane it gets”

3 STARS

Digital Release: August 7, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

It would take an established artist who once enjoyed bountiful successes nothing short of an enormous promotional push and material that had huge cross-over appeal to resurface and create the same buzz as their first bout of fame. Especially now that in today’s market any established artist can be replaced with any number of inferior, but nevertheless very eager, imitations while the genuine article is tossed into obscurity. This is probably due to the fact that for nearly every popstar going there’s five more willing to fill their shoes should the original take a backseat. So if this is the case for established artists, the chances of a mere X Factor upstart managing to refuel their chances at a solo career three years after anyone cared about them is practically non-existent, especially seeing as most people have trouble remembering any of the failures from the most recent series to grace our televisions. But for three long years Ruth Lorenzo has been chasing a recording contract and, after securing one, having numerous afflictions with Virgin Records/EMI Publishings, she’s now going it alone. You’ve got to give it to her – she certainly has the drive, so much so that the connotation of cheapness and desperation that comes stapled onto any X Factor act is extinguished in light of her determination.

And now Lorenzo shows us just what she’s been up to; and what she’s taken so long to release, first single ‘Burn’ from début album ‘The Raspberry Pattern’. Amidst dainty melodic phrases and a sedate electric guitar accompaniment, Lorenzo opens ‘Burn’ with a style that owes much to Ryan Tedder, but before long, the earnest whinings of Lorenzo’s strained falsetto vanish and we’re introduced to Anastacia-esque rock balladry with growling guitars and a strumming rhythm. Whilst Lorenzo takes the song in her stride, the longer it draws on the more plodding and mundane it gets; none of it appeared to matter when she reached the chorus so explicitly angst-driven, but even when backed up such a weighted production once it reaches it’s climax, it still feels like she’s holding back or rather, the production is preventing her from fulfilling the listeners expectations, which are sufficiently built up by the time the jagged middle eight takes over.

‘Burn’ is Lorenzo’s attempt at being both intimate and open at the same, but smothering her enormous voice with lashings of faux-rock sensibilities and over-thought ambitiousness are where even her vocal strengths depreciate, leaving ‘Burn’ as something of an exploration of her song-writing maturity; an admirable intention, and in any musical movement other than today’s, one that would be notably commended, but alas, in the song’s poorly implemented finalised state it’s not hard to hear, above all the raw vocals and the angry guitar work, an artist setting themselves a challenge to that maturity that they know they cannot accomplish.

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