Album review: Lala Lala – I want the door to open

Album review: Lala Lala - I want the door to open

Think outside the box and go beyond the limits

Lala Lala is an alternative / indie rock project comprised of Chicago singer-songwriter and guitarist Lillie West. I want the door to open is her third album where she turns for a utopia, a euphoric feeling very different from her usual rock roots. Lala Lala embraced the many different ways of expressing digital recording throughout this album.

Working with co-producer Yoni Wolf of WHY ?, the hip-hop and alternative rock group, Lala Lala comes out of her hardcore shell with carefully synthesized orchestration and intimate vocals. She wrote and arranged melodic instrumentals, like the piano, which are foreign to her.

“Pool color” exhibits an artist in search of musical freedom with a sense of voice echo meshed with a digitally produced bassline. Even the lyrics sound like they’re coming from a different area within West’s personality. “I wanna be the color of the pool / I wanna hold the fire part of the fuel / And I can’t see a place I wouldn’t let it follow me / The moving currents in the air sense the changing energy . ” Her next track, “DIVER”, has a catchy chorus that stays true to its theme of thinking outside the box with lyrics like “swimming to my new life”.

Starring Kara Jackson, a queer black singer-songwriter from Illinois, “Straight & Narrow” sounds like it came from a fairy tale movie with dazzling instrumental and sweet harmonies. “Beautiful Directions” is a healthy balance between “DIVER” and “Straight & Narrow”. Not only does it have a catchy and intriguing chorus, but its flow is calming and easygoing. The repetitive lyrics give off a melancholy feel as she seems to be talking about a relationship that’s hanging by a thread.

“Prove It” is one of the flattest tracks in I want the door to open. Her simple voice and lyrics in addition to basic alternate guitar chords showcase the genre she’s most used to. This song contrasts a bit with the unconventional sound she seemed to be looking for. Especially with “Prove It” being directly in the middle of the album, it shakes up the euphoria created in the rest of the songs somewhat.

Closing the project, “Utopia Planet”, a heavily synthesized song, and “GB” incorporate fleeting moments from West’s grandmother that beautifully display the euphoria of time and the present moment. West creates his own universe in I want the door to open as it breaks down the boundaries that exist within itself.


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