“The thing about the album Xania is, it’s difficult to chuck it into a pigeonhole and approach critiquing it from a known angle. When a collection of songs come along that sound peerless, it would be tempting to blow them off and listen to something familiar and comfortable. If Xania the album was a living person, an unthinking bouncer would send her packing, away from the posh night club, deeming her unworthy to hang out with all the cool people inside — which is exactly why I like this album.
True, nothing can be completely free of labels; for instance there are elements of rap in Xania, and modicums of folk, and pepperings of pop, and a smattering of (how dare she!) tap-dancing. But what might also strike the listener is what this album isn’t: it isn’t pretentious, it isn’t presumptuous, it isn’t dishonest, and it sure as hell isn’t the product of the minimum input by some dollybird trying to make a quick buck with empty, soulless, chip-and-pin music-by-numbers produced by dudes with frozen dicks. It’s a forthright, straight-backed, imperfect, take-it-or-leave-it group of songs about living on the road, shitty promoters, broken hearts, starting all over again ass-broke, and finding happiness through it all. My personal favourite is Two Jealous Boys, a song about having, literally, too much choice — if Peaches were here, surely she’d have to put her hand up and say, ‘Yeah, I wish I wrote this.’
Xania’s vocals ride high and close, packing in the content, practically standing in front of the listener, telling the stories. If Xania herself didn’t have such a sweet and honest voice, you might say she was ‘in your face’ — but again, the listener might consider what she isn’t: she isn’t bitter, resentful, angry, naive, or obnoxious, traits one might equate with the ‘honesty’ of young artists today. Xania is herself on this album, and that’s a mighty thing, especially for a first, self-financed album. It raises a question, reserved for the time of settling dust on this collection: what’s next?”
-LB, Leonard Cohen’s Guitar Tech (Read his tour diary here)
Well said, Mr. B.!