Until now, Lisa Lavie has been a scarce presence in the music industry: her heavy, booming voice first appeared on the soundtrack to the movie The Guardian under the jazzy sheet of a timeless classic ("The Mockingbird"). Afterwards, she was featured as a pop/rock queen on the Stick It soundtrack. The two vocal performances couldn't be more different, so when her debut album, Everything or Nothing, was released, Lavie opted for the aptly titled..."Everything." Here she synthesizes elements of pop, dance-rock, and jazz to create an embellished debut that is both creamy and spicy without being sickly. This seemingly odd combination actually works for Lavie, particularly because of her voice, which can be described as sharing many traits with both Anastacia and Celine Dion. However, Lavie's voice, albeit quite mature, seems well adapted to the many pop-influenced styles. Everything or Nothing also showcases many ethnic influences, which propels this collection of tunes to a new level of multi-dimensionality. What holds this set back is the abundance of diversity and the mercurial presence of each genre, which makes the collection feel erratic, jarring, and difficult to relate to in its entirety: very few listeners will be able to appreciate "Only Heaven Will Know" as easily as they will "I Remember When," or vice versa. While the latter has an infectious dance beat reminiscent of a Shakira-Joss Stone blend, the former is as sultry and jazzy as music comes. Even more disjointed than those two tracks is the presence of "Find Me an Angel," a Christina Aguilera-esque ballad, while the track solely titled "Angel" is practically an angry Anastacia track on which Lavie roars into sadness while keeping the music upbeat, something few artists manage to do. What's playing in Lavie's favor is that she nails each style with ease, and displays mastery over many different flavored tracks, solidifying her as a true singer. However, the mishmash of genres on Everything or Nothing will make for awkward listening: casual listeners will find it hard to compare Lavie with any other artist. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but she's difficult to fit into any one genre, which leaves her out in the dust for certain forms of mainstream success.
Everything or Nothing Review
by Matthew Chisling