Rebecca Schiffman Upside Down Lacrimosa

[Some; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: pop, folk, lo-fi
Others: Liz Phair, Aimee Mann

Upside Down Lacrimosa is Rebecca Schiffman's debut album. The senior at Manhattan's prestigious Cooper Union quickly acknowledges that she writes her own music, and she is vehemently opposed to recording with a full-time band. She says, "I am very particular and I know what I want, which is the main reason why I work alone... because I am bossy. I worked with alot of people on the record but I was in charge." Unfortunately, Schiffman's refusal to take direction from more seasoned musicians may be what causes the lackluster feel of this album.

Schiffman is a fine musician when she's playing instruments. The one instrument that fails her, however, is her voice. This album is full of vocals that don't explore much melodically, and when she does try to sing lower or higher than her limited vocal range, the songs suffer. The vocals are strongly reminiscent of an early Liz Phair that seemed to veer off key at times, but hey, Liz Phair could rock and she had that going for her.

Schiffman's strengths are in her acoustic guitar-based folksy songs like "Fireflies" and her somewhat trippy-sounding rendition of Mozart's "Lacrimosa" and her own "Upside down lacrimosa," which is a recording of Mozart's own score turned upside down and read backwards. Unfortunately, those latter two tracks are very short.

This is one of those albums to play in the background while you're doing something else that you need to concentrate on. It's definitely not something that you're going to notice for outstanding melodies or lyrics, but I guess that at least makes it passable as a debut album.

1. Total Recall
2. Penguins And Igloos
3. Worning To A Talented Violinist
4. Long Ride Home
5. Fireflies
6. Lacrimosa
7. Weight Of Your Sleep, The
8. Burn Down The School
9. End Of The Ghost
10. Upside Down Lacrimosa
11. Happy Hunting
12. Beating Blue
13. Desert, The
14. Lullabye

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