Annie Lin

Annie Lin

Kicking Stars


I’m a bad person for not liking this CD by singer-songwriter Annie Lin. I haven’t heard anything but good things about it, and she seems like a nice person, and her album cover is adorable, and she plays “acoustic classical guitar” very well, and her voice is graced with an adorable Mandarin accent, and I’m all for the underdog. So my dislike for Kicking Stars must make me a bad evil person or a lousy reviewer or something.

But that’s the way it goes. She’s not that great a singer; think of Alanis Morrisette with less range and discipline and anger, and you’re getting warm. This can be hidden if there’s a whole band there to cover her up, but it’s just her guitar, which tends to emphasize her lack of vocal ability. And I’m a lyric guy, so it bugs me that her lyrics range from slightly interesting to purely awful. In the song “Susannah,” she actually claims to have a banjo on her knee; in “Ariadne’s Anger,” she actually rhymes “Put out a notice” with “For Heterodotus.” Eeesh. It’s not all bad, but even the better songs (“BS #One,” “Odysseus”) are so shot through with self-pity and forced melancholy that they’re no fun to listen to.

So I stand revealed as a big bastard, but I’m not recommending this album. I wish Annie Lin good luck, but she needs a better bullshit detector. And probably a backing band.

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