Elline’s EP “Stained Glass” is divine
Los Angeles-based singer songwriter Elline is one suave lady. Her first EP “Stained Glass,” a blend of R&B, soul and electro, is solid, blurring the lines between these genres quite masterfully. It’s hard to exactly pinpoint what Elline does with her voice; it’s never overly demonstrative or in the realm of prowess, but it does have a potent effect on listeners. It’s intimist. Elline is like a showgirl in a tiny jazz club, luring the audience in, wooing away.
“Stained Glass” is a powerful first EP, although there appears to be excess focus on the packaging of it all. Portraits on her official website and the global sound of her debut record reveal a tendency to gloss things over. It’s too neat, too sleek; despite her languorous vocals, she never seems to betray one iota of frailty or doubt, as though all had been perfectly calibered or engineered.
And that is not to say “Stained Glass” isn’t a pleasant surprise or that Elline doesn’t bear the markings of a great singer, but in this day and age of image-staging, it comes as a refreshing event when an artist lays him/herself bare. And technology isn’t necessarily a disservice to such an endeavor. Kanye West made auto-tune his dear diary. The challenge for Elline is to deliver herself from this quest of the most alluring sound, not by giving away too much too soon, but by peeling the layers one at a time. Only then will her sophisticated demeanor be best heard.