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Lillye - 'Evolve' Album Review


1. Run

2. In The End

3. Chained

4. Brittle Glass

5. Better Days

6. Fire

7. It Is What It Was

8. Take On Me

9. Grass Is Greener

10. Surrender

11. Through My Soul

Lillye is a powerful, female-fronted Rock band based in Sydney, Australia. The band features Virginia Lillye on lead vocals, Christian Lauria on bass, Matt Ellis on guitar and Bennet Livingston on drums. 'Evolve' is their debut album, having previously released a self titled EP back in 2014.

Imagine if Led Zeppelin and Heart had a child that grew up with a passion for the likes of Halestorm, Skunk Anansie, and Sevendust. They would give birth to a new voice, that of Virginia Lillye; one that sings like the true greats of Rock music history. Virginia Lillye is no ordinary Rock vocalist. Since her early childhood, she was schooled in singing, dance, and theatre. In her early twenties, she travelled to Europe where she earned major roles in the hugely popular musicals; Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Grease, and Fame. She is the driving force of the band and her training shows in her vocals on this album.

The album comprises 11 tracks, each one is an epic. Although the tracks are not overly long, the longest being 'Fire' at 5 minutes, the amount of lyrics for every track is insane. Each track is like a chapter of a book. Although the songs have a lot of lyrics they are well punctuated and work with the rhythm of the music. This is where Lillye's musical training really comes in, as you would imagine that delivering that amount of words would mean that the lyrics are slurred or rushed, but every word is delivered with crystal clear diction. Usually when a vocalist has a musical theatre background, it is seen as a negative but Virginia Lillye seems to have been born to rock it out. The songs are all powerful and belted with control. You will not find any screamed out lyrics here. You will find some nice acted out lines for example the enunciation of certain words such as 'Blame on the first track 'Run' or 'Look Here, Look There, Come Near, Move Close, Not Here. Look....Look what you do to me.' on 'Chained' which has just backing vocal. This adds to the theatrical feel to the album.

Don't get me wrong the rest of the band are working hard on the album. Christian Lauria lays some heavy bass lines throughout the album. Matt Ellis plays some intricate riffs, and performs great solos, breaking up the vocals. Bennet Livingston drives the tracks on drums, and 'Take On me' starts with a drum solo, which is as good as it is unusual.

If I had a criticism of the album, it would be that it lacks a certain variety, as each track seems to follow a similar formulae. I guess that some would say that if the formulae works then why deviate. 'Run' which is the first track of the album and is the first single is a good indication of the rest of the album. A Mortal Kombat inspired video has been produced for it.

Lillye have released a very intelligent Rock album. A tight pounding band combined with the huge vocal talent of Virginia Lillye has resulted in 11 epic songs. The control and power that these are delivered in is awesome. For those that sneer at singers with a musical theatre background, play this album from track 1 to 11 and be prepared to think again. Lillye were born to rock with the best of them.

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Review - Tony Creek

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