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  Always on the Run  
  Florence Hall  
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Being an internationally famous music reviewer is not as easy as it looks. Oh, sure, there is fame and glamour, but there are also death threats (and i have received more than just the one replied to here), and, worst of all, the nagging musicians. Sometimes you give a MySpace page a quick, cursory listen, then agree to take the promo, and then forget about it. Meanwhile the musician in question is sitting at home, apparently waiting on my all-important verdict…

Okay, so i exaggerate, but it is kind of true. Some people keep on emailing you to ask when the review will be posted! Is nagging someone an effective strategy? I kind of doubt it… At any rate, Ms. Hall is one such person, but in her defense she did email me the files for this EP, so i did not have a physical product sitting there reminding me to review it. Here is a hint to artists: electronic distribution works great at getting your music to fans, but for reviewers you are just one file out of hundreds sitting on a clogged hard drive, and as such are easily lost.

So, Ms. Florence Hall is a youngish Londoner who has released this three song EP. She has plans to release a record, and seems quite motivated. Most of all, Ms. Hall is blessed with a lovely voice. Her singing reminds me of current pop sensation Duffy. The voice is not too high-pitched, and has some natural richness. Hall is not as gravelly as Duffy, but there is some similarity.

There are three songs on this EP. The first is Always on the Run. This is a cheesy electro dance song, with wavering synth tones, a constantly tapping hi-hat, and some crunchy distorted guitar. Halls' voice is floated over top of this, and she sounds pretty good. This is very stereotypical dance music.

Up next is Sync. Here Hall is doing a slow "modern rock ballad", except with an utterly silly synth trill that keeps popping up underneath. This out-of-place little bit seems left over from some far cheesier techno song, and it ruins the mood by making this entire song seem sillier. However, Hall's voice shines here, the slower pace of this song better complementing the natural richness of her singing.

Finally we have Surrendered. This is a slow burner track, with a wavering synth bit, slowly thudding echoed drums, and a faint keyboard melody. Hall's voice works really well with this sound. She starts hushed, barely mouthing her words, but her singing really swells up as the song gets denser. I think this works the best of her three tracks.

So, this is a decent debut. I think that Ms. Hall has a nice voice, but she needs to find better music to complement her voice. I know that she is English and all, and these people live to go to dance clubs and hear this type of music played god-awful loud, but as an American i have to point out that this music is silly. I can't take it seriously. You will notice that we here at EvilSponge do not review anything that would resemble a club hit in the UK, and this is because that music has no life of its own as it is just too frivolous to be taken seriously in the rest of the world. Ms. Hall, as a young UKer, naturally starts out with the music she is familiar with. However, i think she has potential to go farther. My advice: find a collaborator from outside the dance electronic scene.

But that's just me. I don't go to dance clubs, so maybe i just am not the target audience here. Maybe other people do take this music seriously… I doubt it though, because you never just casually hear this type of stuff in public anywhere. Club music is for clubs, and clubs only. Ms. Hall has made a club music EP that sounds decent to me, but why limit herself to such a narrow genre?

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