Elsiane – Hybrid

Elsiane - Hybrid (2007)

Elsiane - Hybrid (2007)

For some reason, Elsiane’s music is a two choice option:  either you love it or you hate it.  Some people seem to just not being able to stand Elsianne Capplete’s voice, and I seem to understand why, and not precisely because I can’t stand it too.  It is quite the opposite actually, as once you get the hang of it, you end up loving it, at least I did.

Capplete’s Peruvian origins are certainly the determining factor for the wide experimentation and exquisite world music touch exhibited through most of this album, and it is so unobtrusive that half of the time you forget that it is there, but still enough to sprinkle this with a folkloric element for some brief moments.  Don’t worry, if folkloric music is not your thing, this can hardly be considered as such.

A surprising detail is how solid, musically speaking, this album is.  There is a remarkable consistency from start to finish, and that includes not only the instrumentation, as the vocals and the lyrics are nicely done too and they deliver all the way through.  The mood here fluctuates from trip hop to downtempo back and forth, so basically you can expect a mostly dark album with some scarce moments of clarity spread around.

The songs tend to deal for the most part with struggling and existential doubts, and although some might think that this are the ingredients for a depressive experience, it is not, I for once think that while the themes and general mood leads to some dark areas, the result is an experience that leaves a somewhat bittersweet taste but still for some reason ends up being a bright statement.

My recommended songs from this album are Across the Stream, a simple yet effective demonstration of the band ability.  Morphing on the other hand is a showcase of the amazing vocal range Capplete has and the evident connection with the music, because trust me, you will experience bright and dark moments with this one.  Final Escape has that exquisite world music feeling to it, and although you can feel the anxiety and struggling involved with it, the resolution feels like reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Due to the complex composition of songs and the general mood this album inspires, this will definitely not be an everyday listening album, but that does not make it less brilliant than it is.  As with most of the albums in the trip hop genre, you will need a few full listens before getting into this.

At some point it was suggested that the band would begin recording their next release somewhere in 2009, and not much is known about the current state.  That’s just sad, because this album deserves a follow-up.  I surely need some more songs with Elsianne Capplette’s distinctive voice, and even though there’s not much that we can do to speed up the process (if there’s any process at all), I’m doing the only thing I can think of, and that is bring some attention to them of course, although it feels like shouting in the dark right now.

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