A couple months ago (I’m really late on this, but sometimes you just have to let an album sink in!), Alexandra Savior released her infectious debut album titled Belladonna of Sadness on April 7th.
Straight from track one, “Mirage,” Savior channels her own presumed alter-ego, “Anna-Marie Mirage” as she sings songs about singing songs about whatever she wants. Savior comments upon the music industry as a whole and the fact that it constantly grinds out pop artists who are stripped of their own originality. In this song, Savior relates her own experiences of when she was first signed and asked if she wanted to be “Katy Perry or Pink.” In this tune, Savior touches on the pressures of the music industry, as well as the pressures from herself as she “paints her teardrops on” and her alter-ego ultimately takes over. The subtle lyrical progression is clever and intriguing as you also become a part of Savior’s transformation, both within the track, and within the album as a whole.
Romantic and sophisticated, Belladonna of Sadness does not lack emotion despite Savior’s exploration of her presumed boredom within the music industry. The entire album is a delicate blend of mysterious and whimsical, from the use of the strings section, to the hushed, yet still prominent drums (read: “Bones”), to the deep and bouncy bass lines, to the single strums of guitar that could carry the song to completion if necessary. If the great and renowned Walt Whitman were alive to hear this album, of it he would say, “It is large; it contains multitudes.”
Savior is raw and unrestrained, particularly in the middle track, “M.T.M.E,” as she begins with a yawn, throws in a yell and a laugh in the middle, and ends by showing off her impressive vocal range. She eloquently matches the sound of the album with the lyrics as both are mysterious and brooding, as found in “Audeline,” with the occasional fit of self-deprecation and inferiority that follows two songs later in “‘Til You’re Mine.”
The complexity found throughout Belladonna of Sadness is enthralling and reflective as Savior deals with projected external and internal expectations. She exhibits her own talents and utilizes her all-star team consisting of Alex Turner and James Ford to leave listeners enamored and feeling haunted by the ghosts of fifties jazz artists.
“‘Til You’re Mine”