Isabella James - Climbing Mt. Zion
Jun 29, 2020 (updated Jul 22, 2020)
[UNDA5: Day 11]

I apologize if this review is messy.

I'm not lying when I say that "Climbing Mt. Zion" had a lot of potential to be in my top albums of the challenge, but I think there are some nagging flaws that truly hold it back. I really, really like the instrumentation here. The synths are all tastefully-placed and the guitar tones are really clean, fitting comfortably in an otherwise hit-or-miss mix. The lyrics are the true standout of the project, however, as they focus a lot on gender identity and the dysphoria and pain surrounding it. You can definitely tell that Isabella poured a lot of emotion and heart into it and, as someone who's undergoing some gender confusion of my own, I can definitely see myself relating to some of it.

That said, there are those nagging flaws I mentioned earlier and I really want to see these patched up in the future. The most obvious of flaws is the vocal performance. It's pretty poor for the most part as it goes off-note and off-key for a good majority of the tracklist. I don't really leave the opening track, "hold me like a pipe", with a good first impression because of this. It can especially get hairy in tracks like "it's scary being born like this" where the chorus can switch abruptly to autotune with the vocal mixing being decibels louder than the verses. Like I said, I'm optimistic that she'll improve on these aspects greatly in the future and the highs in this record are still pretty high. It just needs some tweaking to truly be a great record in my eyes.

Fav Tracks: galena, Illinois; razor blade's don't work anymore; i'm going 2 love you until you love urself <3; my deadname will be on my grave

Least Fav Tracks: hold me like a pipe, piles of light and distance

Jun 30, 2020
Not to make excuses but hold me like a pipe is pretty janky because I recorded it without a sound card and the delay between playing and recording kinda threw me off. Anyway thanks for the review I love all feedback I can get <3
Jun 30, 2020
@gec2isabella It’s no problem :)
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