Sound: Alright. I've already done a review for Charlotte Hatherley's debut album, Grey will Fade and so naturally I was going to do one for her Sophmore effort as and when it was released. Admitedly, due to other musical interests such as country singer and guitarist Brad Paisley, I completely forgot that Charlotte's album would be released and soon it did in March 5th 2007 (2 months late on the review, not too bad). Generally, the album isn't a huge departure from it's previous, Grey will Fade. The name of the new album, The Deep Blue, as it suggests is indicative of a rawer, deeper album, more related to other peoples problems rather than herself (her previous album was a project about herself as an artist as she professed many times). Immediately upon the first time I played this CD into my laptop, I prepared myself for the all outcomes of my expectations: that her sophmore attempt wouldn't be as great as her previous, as this happens so frequently with many artists, or the probability that it would be better. First time I listened to the album in full, I didn't think it was that special, it was alright at most, I must admit. But being a person like me who listens to a lot of music, I was determined to give this album many chances. A rule most musical people should be aware of is to respect artist growth and to never subject music to your prejudice without giving it your fullest effort to get into it.
The Deep Blue, took me roughly 4 times to listen to in full before I began to realise that it was actually special. It wasn't so much that it was mindblowing (it would be mindblowing if I liked it upon it's first listen] but the creativity of the album, immaculately produced and the quality of the mixing was brilliant. The sound was very much the same as Grey will Fade, however with the addition of of a more rawer sound, as mentioned before. I'm sorry if I'm terribly vague but generally, what I mean is that it sounded more creative, melody is in there as well as of Charlotte's trademark of making melodies out of very weird chords. This was apparent in the first album but it's even more apparent on the second. In addition, the album sounded very futuristic, or perhaps industrial (is that even the right word). // 10
Lyrics: As stated before in review of Charlotte Hatherley's Grey will Fade, the lyrics are really where Charlotte falls down on, although that's not to say that it's not great. Well, it wasn't great but it wasn't bad either. It was sort of, in between (you know what I mean, being the artistic and critical people of UG that you are). The lyrics were deeper than on Grey will Fade with some brilliant efforts being seen in such tracks as "Roll it Over", "Be Thankful" and "Behave". The lyrics, with the exception of "Very Young" (see below) have greatly improved. The track with the worst lyrics I could think of (and definitely the worst story being sung) is "Very Young". You can only guess what this is about so I'm not going to bother explaining the story and wasting space here on this review. Very Young was very creative, musically but I don't think the lyrics do it justice. The story line didn't suit the music. I mean, I'd expected the track to have a sort of revenge-type theme. That wasn't to be expected. I also much confess that this was the worst track, Charlotte has created (in my opinion). It could definitely have better lyrics. The next thing to critique is the singing voice. I can't really say much has improved from Charlotte's voice. An artist rarely moves away from his or her singing voice. Charlotte is known to be a guitarist rather than a singer (ex-lead guitarist of Ash) but it doesn't mean she can't sing at all. I think she can sing. I think it's just the way she sings that turns people off. It's too girly some say but I think that it personafies her greatly. In short, you'll either love her voice or not. I did. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, I love this album with the exception of "Very Young". It was deeper than Grey will Fade and it's just as good. For me, the tracks that I really liked are "Be Thankful" (my favourite track of the album, I absolutely adore it), "Behave", "I want you to know", "Siberia" and "Roll it over". In my opinion, I prefer Grey will Fade but only slighty. It's a hard decision but on Grey will Fade, I really liked more of the tracks better such as Summer. Coincidently, I just submitted my tab for "Summer" (solo) by Charlotte Hatherley on UG, so don't forget to rate it. The more I listen to The Deep Blue, the more my preference between the two albums change. I guess only time can tell which one I truely admire. I recommend UG to buy her first album before buying The Deep Blue. That will enable you to assess her artistic growth. For those of you who already own Grey will Fade, I recommend that you play the album in full before immediately listening to The Deep Blue as this will give you time to refresh your memory of what you thought of it when you first put it into your computer/laptop. // 9