Inner Child Work by Alicia Blue Album Review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


Inner Child Work

Alicia Blue

Alicia Blue’s upcoming EP, Inner Child Work, an album that is like pop alternative concentrate with hooks for miles, is a far cry from her previous album, Bravebird. They both show a talented songsmith, for sure, but where Bravebird was an album of well crafted if somewhat subdued folk numbers, Blue’s latest album finds her making eyes with pop stardom.

On album opener “DTMTS” (or “Don’t Tell Me To Smile”) she sheds her old penchant for nuance and takes head on the modern gripe with men telling women to smile. “ “So don’t tell me to smile / I’m not your puppet / Hanging on your silly string,” she sings over jangly guitars. “I’m a real thing / If you want to be with me / Know that sometimes the sun’s / Not gonna shine / So don’t tell me to smile.” Though she flips the song at the end, from it just being a feminine problem, when she sings about mime, Marceau, who she wishes could just tell people, in the face of World War II, that he wasn’t gonna joke any more.

The whole album has the feel like Blue has been taking songwriting courses from those who promise if you do these ten things, you’re sure to get a hit song. And, really, the songs do work: hit the ear in a super memorable fashion. And her songs are genuine, original, and intelligent, still. Like her single, “Saline Waters,” which sounds like if Lana Del Rey went pop. “Saline waters turn everything white / God it’s beautiful / Must be scary here at night,” she croons on the chorus. It’s eternally replay able and cashes in on the spooky, existential storyline of the song.

It’s a short offering at five songs, (something else that reminds me of the advice being tossed around by record execs right now—to only release your best songs,) and each of the songs is a certified “banger.” “Dog Days in LA,” another single from the album, captures what it’s like to be an artist trying to make their way in Los Angeles, even citing a relationship with someone she got a gig for who can’t remember her name. “And still we call it beautiful / When the sunset meets the smog.” Blue’s lyrics often hit you on a deeper level and make you think. Like she sings on the song, “Dirty Hippy,” “And if I talk deep / And you stay shallow / Well that’s fine with me / But you can’t go swimming down below.”

My own skepticism of the hit-making music industry right now aside, it is an album that sparkles and shines, with enough darkness to provide satisfying contrast, make it shine even brighter throughout. She is a top-notch song writer and has always been. But her new work looks to make a bigger splash where her folkier music would probably only have a niche audience. Intelligent, catchy, prescient. It’s an impressive batch of songs from an evolving artist. The best of folk, the best of pop.

Order Inner Child Work by Alicia Blue HERE

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