Alina Simone

Make Your Own Danger

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Ukraine-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Alina Simone delivers another poetic exploration of love and landscape on her third album, Make Your Own Danger. Once again, Simone is abetted by producer Steve Revitte, who constructs spare rock arrangements for her, with the instruments carefully isolated so that the drums and guitars are clear and separate, and other instruments, such as the celli of Greg Heffernan and Jenny Petrow, also have space to be heard. Simone is somewhat encased in the music, wailing her lyrics of urban alienation in a manner that can recall Björk or Patti Smith. "I want to feel love," she sings in the leadoff track, "Beautiful Machine," "Get caught in the echo chamber/I want to get crushed/In the beautiful machine." The words are full of such juxtapositions of feeling and regimentation, and Simone is particularly attracted to imagery that is hard and cold, as if all the songs had been written in the dead of winter. Even though he was a writer about the wilderness, Jack London makes an appropriate reference in "In the House of Baba Yaga," since he often set his stories in cold climates. Simone closes her examination of dichotomies with "Apocalyptic Lullaby," again a contrast between things soothing and threatening, making for an eerie, off-kilter collection of music that is nevertheless often compelling.

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