Lucia Cifarelli

From the Land of Volcanos

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Despite her industrial upbringing with KMFDM, Lucia's debut is total Garbage. Like Shirley Manson's band, Lucia mixes the slick with the grit on From the Land of Volcanos. She's a powerful, dramatic, sometimes sweet vocalist, and with a little help from KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko and former Madonna collaborator Patrick Leonard, a very good songwriter to boot. KMFDM fans might be shocked that the album is powerful angst-pop with monolithic, Bat Out of Hell-styled drama, but Lucia sounds confident and driven throughout, like this is the album she always wanted to do. She's urgent on the chaotic "Monkey Puzzle Tree," a dark sex kitten on "Little Rose," and a rock goddess on the excellent opener, "So Clever." Ian Stanley's elaborate production adapts to both the sheen of the Leonard tracks and the wickedness of the Konietzko ones, making the extravagant album hang together. If there's anything bad to be said about the album, it's that the bombast covers up any hope of insight into Lucia's world and too often it feels like she's playing a role. It's her debut and that's when you're allowed to be overly ambitious. Taking that into consideration, it's a striking debut with plenty of hints that this edgy diva could get deeper.

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