Lisa Donnelly: We Had a Thing

Although Lisa Donnelly is but unknown at this point, there’s something uncannily familiar about her solo debut. Having fronted the L.A. outfit A.M. Pacific and after mining the Hollywood club circuit, it’s only natural that she should exude the air of a veteran, and indeed the confidence and ease with which she delivers her material belies any hint of relative inexperience. If anything, Donnelly may be too ambitious; We Had a Thing suggests she may be trying to cover too much ground for a first outing. And in fact, with songs that run the gamut from ethereal ballads to propulsive hip-hop, it’s hard to get a handle on Donnelly’s true essence. Try Sarah McLachlan meets Madonna. She even throws some sitar into the mix with the song “Blue,” suggesting a psychedelic spin that quickly turns into a meditative mode. Still, the most telling track on the album – both literally and figuratively – is the leadoff tune “Laugh,” an intriguing narrative about a dinner party encounter with a psychic who preps her for the future. Being that she’s a bit derivative, it’s difficult to read Donnelly’s chances for success based on this album alone. Still, it suggests there’s plenty of potential for ongoing endeavors.
(BT Media 2009)

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