When you mention a record as a break-up album you pigeonhole it into something that could restrict the listeners views. Lustre and Curve, being Beck Goldsmith’s third full album, does focus on relationships, but it tries to be much more than that, and with it the listener is treated to an inclusive emotional journey.
First off, this record isn’t going to end up like Adam Sandler singing his break up song in The Wedding Singer (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go and find the clip on youtube and enjoy), but has layers or torment that the listener is invited to peel back. Cold Light’s sombre tones set against a light and fluffy feel introduces you to the overall feel of the record; think Fleetwood Mac meets Cat Powers, with Goldsmith gingerly singing ‘The wall it still stands but my heart leaps and lands on the other side’.
Know Me No More feels like your favourite jumper; warm, cosy and familiar – it’s the sound of a wounded woman baring her soul. Its whisper of melody pushes the track along effortlessly and the rest takes care of itself. Clutching at the Dark’s simple yet clever Irish/folk movements really pull on the heartstrings, and the trick is repeated on Drawn to the Storm, but with a more beauty and bleak quality about it.
For all the records goodness, it does seem to drop off by the end; this could be because it doesn’t try to challenge itself with much of a drift from the norm. It’s kind of like when you go somewhere like Rome and look at so many churches, that the ones at the end of the day aren’t going to have the same impact as the ones you saw in the morning. On top of this, tracks Night Hours and Manhattan Style could do with a little more oomph to raise them up. Goldsmith needs to remember that if you add a stronger sound, it doesn’t necessarily take away from the gentle and wallowing heartbreak.
Track Simple Plan, on the other hand, really shows of the singer’s skills and turns into album highlight. Clever changes and hooks make it stand out, set against lyrics based around finding mistakes where there probably are none. This is Beck at her best, showing that magic moments come when you least expect them.
Lustre and Curve is an album straight from the heart. Its one Goldsmith has written for herself, and to share in it you have to really throw yourself in and concentrate. Slap on some headphones, close your eyes and get lost in someone else’s heartbreak.