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Lissie, ‘Catching A Tiger’ album review

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Lissie (full name, Elisabeth Maurus)’s debut album ‘Catching A Tiger’ was released in the UK in June 2010; a year after it was written in Nashville and a good couple of months before it was released in her native America. Since early this year, Lissie has been based in London and the music press and fans alike have since taken her in as one of their own; the reason for this hospitality being not just the obvious and simply stunning talents of the artist, but also the fact that she’s just a genuine, straight-talking, cool chick who shuns the spotlight for the songwriting; and boy is it all the better for it.

‘In Sleep’ was the first single to be released from the blues-rock singer-songwriter’s album, followed by the retrospective and heartbreak-tinged ‘When I’m Alone.’ Lissie has said that her inspiration for the album was her memories of never feeling like she fit in in her hometown of Rock Island, Illinois and of the ‘girls that snubbed her and the boys that broke her.’ Lyrics such as ‘…when I reach out and I only grab air, and it kills me to think, that you never did care’ highlight the longing and isolation that she felt in her own mind as a teenager; if only she knew then just what a gift these feelings were, as well as her own ability to turn them in to something quite special.

I was lucky enough to see Lissie perform live recently at the Cambridge Folk Festival; she had the crowd enthralled from the first track due to the sheer power and passion which emanates from her vocal chords. I think she has perhaps the best tone and vocal capabilities of the vast array of female singers around at the moment; which makes it all the more surprising and refreshing to hear her speak and engage with the audience in such a humble, almost bewildered state. She appeared to be truly amazed at the warm reception that she received from the capacity crowd at Cambridge and from that moment on; she had won me over hook, line and sinker.

I have a few favourite tracks from the album, including opener ‘Record Collector’ which gives an air of resolution or realisation; it sounds on this track like the youthful and naive Lissie has finally become comfortable with herself, ‘…but my blue eyes cannot see, that their true hue is probably green…’  the 60’s-sounding piece with a punch ‘Stranger’ and the delicate strings sound of ‘Look Away’ which speaks about taking vows, taking steps towards the door and taking chances on a union that you both know might not be quite right. It is track 9 however, which delivers something I can’t really put in to words; it’s just one of those melodies that you fall for instantly and you put on repeat until you know all the words and can sing it in your head whenever you just have to hear it again…take a listen to ‘Everywhere I Go’ below and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Lissie does an impressive cover version of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ on her MySpace page (link can be found below), which also happens to be my favourite Gaga track. Lissie delivers an equally striking vocal performance as Gaga,but it is the blues-folk edge to this track which I think further showcases Lissie’s impressive vocal range and ability to turn a hugely commercial dance track in to a soulful and sweet number.

‘Cuckoo’ is the next single off the album, set for release on August 30th, 2010 in the UK. This track is about Lissie’s teenage years and her feeling that no one understood her and no one possibly could. The video for the single takes us through her high school years, her first crush, her first guitar purchase and her first arrest! With the help of the very cute young Lissie in the video, the track actually leaves you with a positive, warm and fuzzy feeling that hey, you may get expelled and even arrested, but you too could be headlining Cambridge in a few short years!  

Lissie will be supporting The Script on their upcoming UK tour in September and then doing some headline shows of her own in late October/early November, including:

26th October – Glasgow Oran Mor

27th October – Manchester Academy 2

28th October – Bristol Thekla

30th October – Norwich Waterfront

31st October – Birmingham Academy 2

1st November – London Heaven.

Try to catch a show in a venue near you, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. 

All in all, I would give ‘Catching A Tiger’ 9 / 10, although I’m not quite sure what more she could have done to gain that extra mark.

More information on Lissie can be found below at these websites:


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm

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