Lyn Leon

Private Pop

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Lyn Leon's glass instruments give this album its distinctive sound. Matthias Eser and Stephan Diethelm coax gentle sounds out of their unique inventions: overtones hang in the air and shimmer and the gong-like melodies create a warm, nocturnal ambience. Carolyn Leonhart's smoky, almost whispered vocals float through the mix, adding another moody element to these cosmopolitan, faintly detached tales of love and isolation. The tunes are long on atmosphere, but tend to blend into one long, languid, faintly jazzy suite. Leonhart's lyrics have enough sharp edges to keep you from drifting too deeply into the music's comforting haze, but her impassive delivery lacks the snap that's needed to really make the images sting. It's the rhythms that provide the drive to keep the songs from drifting too far into dreamland. "Tomorrow Edit" is marked by a menacing hip-hop beat generated by the tortured thump of Marco Blöchlinger's bass and Marco Agovino's minimal drumming. Leonhart wails softly, painting the portrait of a young woman standing alone on a rooftop, seemingly suspended between life and death. The second version of "Tomorrow" features bassist Wolfgang Zwiauer laying down a blues-rock pattern and Kaspar Rast's jazzy drum accents, but the drums are buried under the sustained notes of the glass instruments. "Follow" has a propulsive rhythm track, with Zwiauer's bass adding sinister accents to the bridge, while Leonhart's vocal lays way behind the beat, making an already painful lyric sound almost hopeless. "Veins," a long instrumental track, bounces along on a Caribbean rhythm, driven again by Zwiauer's energetic bassline.

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