The daily album today comes from Michelle Chamuel, aka The Reverb Junkie. Chamuel is perhaps best known for her appearances on the fourth season of the reality TV singing competition The Voice. Just a few months after coming in second place on The Voice, Chamuel has put together and released her first solo album, All I Want. However, fans of her work on The Voice might be in for a bit of a shock. In a piece by masslive.com, Chamuel said “it’s kind of like having a glass of milk and juice on the table and picking up one and expecting the other. She said one might like both, but if you’re expecting one and not the other a person can be surprised by the taste.”
All I Want opens with the title track, a lo-fi music box piece that crashes into electro pop rock. The lyrics are simple; the complexity here lies in the instrumentation and the treatment of the vocals, which get some pretty heavy production attention. “Everything” follows, an 80s-inspired dance beat. Chamuel claims composition credit for these tracks, showing that her talents go far beyond what she can do with her voice. Portions of this album remind me a bit of Fever Ray – this is a good thing.
“Selfish” is a reflective song, recalling the faults of the girl in question while lamenting time lost in retrospect, all set to a very funky choir/scratch/edm backdrop. “Eyoh” follows, a bit more upbeat, focusing on a ton of chopped lyrics. The track oscillates between a melodious europop chorus and an ethnic, pensive verse. “Worth” is another complicated song, lyrically. The inability to choose a set of rules to validate one’s existence – tough stuff, here. Musically, the track is quite pretty, filled mostly with simple percussion and a muted piano, which gives Chamuel a chance to shine, vocally.
“Bit by Bit” lies in the same vein as a few other tracks, juxtaposing the twinkle of a music box with the cutting edge of chopped electro. Chamuel does well in playing with the overall attack and velocity of these tracks; she understands the waiting and rewards game very well. “Tear Down Walls” is another track that utilizes objectivity, but listeners have to wonder how much introspection was involved in the conception of these songs. In accordance with her performance name, Chamuel does make brilliant use of reverb on this one. The album closes (technically) with “Want Me Now”, and perhaps properly so. There is a lot of disappointment and regret reflected in the lyrics of this album, but that is life. The album feels very real, more so than the performances which brought Chamuel so much attention. Those weren’t her songs; these are.
There are a few bonus tracks, but I’m not going to ruin those surprises for you. It’s obvious that with Chamuel’s talents, she could have gone the pop route, but we really need more Fever Rays and Ingrid Michaelsons and less of the other stuff. All I Want is a very impressive foray into solo work for Chamuel, and fans of progressive singer/songwriters will not be disappointed. Melancholic electro pop ear candy.