Mia Doi Todd, queen of laid back, bare acoustic silky smooth spookiness returns with a new album entitled “Gea” (with lovely cover artwork if I may say so). This time round there is a certain Latin twang to the melodies in some of the songs and there’s more instruments than just an acoustic guitar!
Mia doesn’t break you in easily either as the album opens with the ten minute “River of Life/The Yes Song” which comes across like a pilgrimage with it’s repetitive lyrics and melodies. To say its a test is perhaps overdoing it but it does seem to be over-long.
“Night of a Thousand Kisses” is a more beautiful and eerie sounding song with complimenting string sections. A truly haunting piece. “Big Bad Wolf & Black Widow Spider” again has some eerie chords and a nice drum beat and continues the whole pilgrimage feel of the album. A kind of endless plodding to the gallows (that’s not meant to sound like a bad thing).
“Sleepless Nights” is a more traditional song with a catchy chorus before the particularly Spanish “Esperar Es Caro” ups the ante with an excellent song – and Mia’s Spanish is excellent. “Kororo” sounds like a chugging demo however, which a noticeable decline in audio quality. The song is nice enough but you can hear background noises at the opening which is a shame.
“Can I Borrow You?” is the only real pacey song on the album with infectious melodies and Latin tweaks to make the song extra special. Definitely the stand out along with “Night of a Thousand Kisses”.
From there its a gradual slow down. “Wolf Reprise” is an instrumental that sounds exactly like everything else on the album so quite why it warrants its space here without lyrics I don’t know. “In the End” is a slow heartfelt piece with Mia’s usual discordant melodies to bring the pain closer to home and “Old World New World” is much like an ending drone of what has came before it.
Mia Doi Todd’s lack of progression in terms of sound is what will determine your opinion of this album. I struggled to listen to this album in one fell swoop and found it easier and better to dive in and out. The reason for it is that it’s all too samey. Nothing has changed. With Mia you know what you are getting. Fantastic vocals and repetitive drones of acoustic guitar chords. If you get into it, this is great. However for me I was left a little disappointed and wanting for more.