Album Review: Change by Lize Ehlers
Lize Ehlers takes a candid approach with her album ‘Change’. The album begins with clear, clean-cut melodies, for instance uncluttered piano strokes in Race Away, and an acoustic guitar in Just Show Up. The acoustics are melodic and calm, prompting you to listen carefully because she has something to say that she doesn’t want you to miss. ‘Oh Yes’, track 4 of the album, was one of my favourite songs. I really enjoyed the instrumentals; easy, rhythmic and sensual.
I also enjoyed the way her vocals matched the rhythm and melody of the instrumentals. In the song it is as if she is cooing the little flower bud to open up and become what she needs to be. I did, however, find the lyrics to be a little awkward, for example when she tells the girl to take her arms and ‘throw it all around’ … not really my cup of tea. I think it was the vocals and instrumentals that did it for me, but I do think the lyrics were necessary in that they reflected much of what we would let out in ourselves when we are alone and listening to the song. The track is then followed by ‘Change’, the turning point of the album. Here it takes a turn from pure instrumental to a more electronic sound, with other songs like Dance, Dance and River. In these tracks, a bit of funk and an 80s influence, shimmer through. ‘Change’ has more upbeat, ethnic instrumentals, with shakers and drums backed by the vocals of a chanting choir. With this song, the message takes a turn from personal confrontation and reflection and it becomes more explicitly universal. The introverted flower has been taken by the music and is letting her inner self come through, and she wants the world to pick up its feet and move with her. Here, she lures the listener to tap into their innate drive, to move forward, to seize this day and make it different from the last. The album slows down again in ‘Your Way’. With pieces from her memory, this is when the album becomes more introspective again. She learns that in order to grow, you need to take whatever life throws at you and make it move to the rhythm of your own beat, but at a slower, more intentional pace this time. The album is a challenge to the listener to step up, to shine, and to improve your ways to that you can become better. I think the overall message is good and clear, but I felt that the lyrics could have been stronger. I do appreciate simple, clear lyrics as much as any person because sometimes simplicity is all you need. It allows the listener to hear what the artist means to say with no distractions. But my problem wasn’t really with the simple, straightforwardness off the lyrics; I just felt that they are too conventional. Listening to the album the first time, I did find that I connected more with the rhythm and melody than with the words.