05 10

Nite Jewel Liquid Cool Gloriette

Ramona Gonzalez has said she feels like her 2012 sophomore album One Second of Love was one full of concessions; that her emotive electro-pop was compromised due to the demands for a more commercial sound from the “Midwestern bros” at Secretly Canadian, the successful independent label she was signed to at the time.

No surprise then, that this third album Liquid Cool – the name Gonzalez also gives to her music – feels at times overly  reactionary, with Gonzalez gleefully backing away from studio polish to literally record the album inside a closet (well, two closets actually). The problem is that Gonzalez has reclaimed her rawer sound, but she hasn’t delivered tunes strong enough to cut through all the lo-fi obfuscation.

Songs like Was That a Sign, for instance, sound like half-complete demos that easily could have surfaced on the first Nite Jewel LP, 2009‘s Good Evening, which suggests Gonzalez hasn’t especially advanced her vision. And with tracks such as lead single Kiss The Screen, I Mean It and Running Out of Time being the album’s highlights, it transpires that, ironically, it’s actually the bombastic dance-pop melodies and big choruses that work best here.