Music Mailbox

Welcome to 2011 everyone! It’s a new year (kind of, I mean it is February already) which means it is also a time for new music. Today I’m actually discussing an artist that’s a little different from the singers I usually discuss. It’s still a pop singer, of course, but this one is unique because all of the past albums I’ve reviewed have been from major label recording artists. Ro Danishei is an independent pop artist who released her debut album “End of the Rainbow” on January 1, for free, on her website.

I actually stumbled upon Ro Danishei through another independent pop singer I enjoy, Simon Curtis. He has worked with Danishei, and back in March he released his debut album on his website as well. Thus, I discovered her album at the turning point of the new year, and I must say that I am thoroughly pleased. Though Danishei may be an independent artist and giving her album away digitally, she effectively manages to put to shame a large group of the current pop stars out there.

If I had to say who Danishei’s style resembles most I’m going to have to go with Ke$ha. Danishei has pumping dance beats that usually go along with occasionally silly lyrics. For instance, my personal favorite song “Drunk Txt” deals with a girl who is drunkenly texting a boy that she likes instead of dancing with her friends. Not the classiest storyline, but it has got a good pop beat and is one of those songs that would be a great time to just sing along with, with friends.

Danishei is far from a Ke$ha clone. Some of her songs can also be compared to the likes of Britney Spears and Lady GaGa. It’s impressive what this girl, without the help of a label, is able to accomplish. For instance, the track “Baby Doll” sounds like something from GaGa’s early days. While the track isn’t nearly as cleanly produced as a song from GaGa would be, it is still a great dance track that has some less than conventional lyrics. The track “End of the Rainbow” sounds like something that Britney could have included on her “Circus” album.

There are some less than stellar points on the album, however. The closing number “Prey to the Beat” sounds promising, but is just an awkward song with a decent dance beat and no other redeeming qualities. It’s an especially disappointing song as it brings the album to a close while the previous track “End of the Rainbow” would have served as a much better closer. Danishei’s vocals on the track are also not as impressive as on other songs. During various songs on the album, her voice can sometimes be over produced. On the ballad “Unlove Pill,” Danishei makes it clear she can sing, which makes it disappointing that on other tracks her voice seems very auto tuned.

Overall, “End of the Rainbow” is a solid debut effort, especially from someone who is not signed to a major label. Danishei is one of three artists including Simon Curtis and Andrea Lewis (who my Degrassi fans out there might remember as Hazel from the early years) who have been releasing their albums for free on their websites. All three are very good efforts. If you’re curious about these others you can check out my review for Andrea Lewis’s “54321” album on my Pierce Arrow blog “Payne in the Media.” As for “End of the Rainbow,” I’ll give it a solid 7 out of 10 pop tarts.

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