Saturday, January 11, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Orianthi

I'm not a critic. I will only post stuff about music that I enjoy. Is it critically celebrated, panned, indifferent? I don't know and more importantly, don't care.

Sometimes you just find something totally by accident and it strikes a chord within you. Such is my current obsession with Orianthi. My daughter is calling me a fangirl. I prefer fanboy. Semantics. But I get what she is saying.

When I find something new (to me) that I like, I need to immerse myself in it for a few days. Just to make sure it's not a fly-by-night infatuation but something that I really enjoy. So, Orianthi, I enjoy.

I don't know a whole lot about her, and I'm not an investigative reporter. But here's what I do know:

Her full name is Orianthi Pangaris and she can shred on the guitar. She's 28 years old and from Australia. She was pegged to play guitar on Michael Jackson's tour before his untimely death. She has played guitar with Alice Cooper's touring band. She has recorded a song with Steven Tyler.

That's enough right there to give her credibility. And all that means squat if the songs don't hold up, right?

Well, the songs hold up. But where they fit is up for debate.

Let me put it this way, Orianthi's solo work is part Taylor Swift, part Grace Potter, part Lzzy Hale, part Katy Perry*, part Eric Johnson, part Jimi Hendrix, part Journey, part Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), part Lita Ford.
*I picked Katy Perry because I'm not that familiar with current pop music and she was the first one that came to mind. Could be Demi Lovato. The "Call Me Maybe" chick. Whomever.

I have really enjoyed her latest album Heaven in this Hell. Save for a couple of ultra-poppy tracks, It is very good start to finish. Although, if you get the CD, get the one without the bonus tracks.

The 12 tracks on the non-bonus song CD are mostly quite good. The first three songs on the album all have a bluesy feel to them. As do several other tracks. The blues-based tracks are my favorites.

The song, "How Does That Feel?" could be at home on one of Foreigner's later albums. A couple of songs, if recorded by the right artist (Carrie Underwood? Taylor Swift?) would be a mainstay on current country music radio.

The song "Sex E Bizarre" featuring Steven Tyler would be right at home on any Aerosmith release post Done With Mirrors.

Here is some straight up pop:

Here's the title track from her latest album:

And here she is doing Voodoo Chile live:

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