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Lisa Mitchell : Warriors

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Lisa Mitchell’s last effort Bless This Mess had its moments but lacked cohesion. Warriors, on the other hand, has a firm sense of direction and purpose. The album opens with The Boys, a fizzy song about friendship and hardcore crushing. The theme of coming-of-age in a small town continues on the dreamy title track as she croons “We were the kids of the country/ Keeping it real in the suburbs.” While she openly set out to make a record one can dance too, the electronic elements are not overpowering and do not weigh down her songwriting. The grooves are gentle but retain their rhythm, starting as the sturdy beat of Warhol breaks apart the shimmery arrangement. This movement continues on the hazy I Remember Love and the darker So Wild.
 
While the album has deviated onto the path of pop stylings, there are plenty of returning motifs. The production works well with her signature vocals, melding beautifully with the underlying airy atmosphere. The storytelling is strong, Mitchell bringing in seemingly mundane details to etch out feelings and situations, and her songwriting style continues to shine through with the new sound. This being said, the stripped acoustic goodness of What Is Love is a welcome return to her roots, clarifying the mix with a some variety. And of course it wouldn’t feel like an authentic Lisa Mitchell record if there wasn’t some reference to magical beings, done so on Unraveling.
 
It isn’t all sweet love – the handclaps of Where You Are are too twee to transform its blandness and its follow-up further dulls the movement of the record. Overall, Warriors is comfortable yet fresh, further embedding the musical persona of Mitchell.
 
BY ANGELA CHRISTIAN-WILKES