BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Radiohead is Spellbinding

BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Radiohead is Spellbinding
Cover art courtesy of SKB Records.

Six months in and Lena Hall's OBSESSED series is still going strong with solid homages and tributes to various artists. This month, Hall spectacularly croons her way through delightful gloomy misery on OBSESSED: Radiohead. The new EP is, more-or-less, the anti-summer collection of music you didn't know you needed.

Unlike previous entries, each of these tracks feature only plaintive backing music expertly played across various instruments by Justin Craig and Matt Duncan. For this collection the backing seems somehow more pared down and decidedly subtler than on previous releases, giving the collection a delectable late 90s early 2000s acoustic version downloaded from Kazaa vibe. In fact, the entire EP gleefully rekindles that special moment when Napster or Kazaa allowed you to discover that the acoustic version of The Verve's "The Freshmen" was astoundingly rawer and more angsty than the radio version, so it lit your soul afire in a completely different way.

Floating with unbridled spectral ethereality above the backing music there is Hall's spellbinding vocals, which simultaneously comfort and drip venom. Smartly, she doesn't mimic Thom Yorke's iconic vocalizations; however, she does take a page from his playbook for her iterations. Borrowing from Yorke's own often silky singing, Hall mostly steers clear of her beloved vocal gravel. She primarily utilizes the smooth and polished side of her instrument, allowing her own vocals to sail across the aural plane like a clipper gracefully gliding across placid waters.

Whether signing "Nude," "High and Dry," "Exit Music (For a Film)," "Street Spirit (Fade Out)," or "Creep," the haunting and airy quality of Hall's vocalizations across the EP highlight the darkness in the lyrics. She keenly punctuates this style by letting gritty wails fly during the well-known and often butchered in karaoke bars bridge from "Creep." Hall's softened and often honeyed vocals across this collection warmly invite listeners to enjoy the best mellow existential crisis imaginable as they cathartically reexamine all the wounds these songs helped us heal the first time around.

Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Radiohead was released by SKB Records and can be purchased at The EP is also available on all digital and streaming platforms.

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