If Norah Jones and Jack Johnson had a child, this is what it would sound like. That’s what my better half had to say about Charlene Soraia’s debut album Moonchild as it rang throughout our apartment. I agreed, and I didn’t like it. It’s soft and cute, and when Soraia sings, “I’m biii-po-lllaaaar,” I don’t believe her. The album is not bipolar at all. It’s actually safe, a collection of cute little tunes. Not offensive and somewhat thoughtless, and on the whole, not instantly memorable either.
But it is also never forced. And then, it works, slowly at first, then remarkably well. Soraia lets each note ring out, allowing it to live its short breath and then fade, playing with the empty spaces in-between like a veteran. It’s all slow motion. The simplicity in this method and the juxtaposition of her high, delicate voice over bluesy guitar runs and warm sounding drums make for an endearing debut. Three day’s later, and I’m starting to remember it. (LV)