24 May 2013
NYC troubadour Natalie Gelman’s new EP dropped last week, forcing me to take an honestly dedicated look at the tracks that have been non-commitally blending in with the rest of my iTunes since I was first asked to review the singer/songwriter months ago. It’s not that I was entirely procrastinating- I’ve sat down more than a few times with the aim to really listen to Gelman’s work- I just struggled finding something really to say. Gelman has a soothing voice with the sort of slightly edgy wail that most long-haired dreamgirls of the indie-folk variety share. The well-titled Streetlamp Musician is a sweet selection of six short ditties, all pleasant, all pretty, but it took me quite a few listens to tell the songs apart from each other, let alone from the work of the countless musicians who sound just like Gelman.
The best of the lot are undoubtedly “Most the While” and “Laugh So Hard You Cry” with cute lyrics that form some decent rhymes and catchy choruses that are the only melodies from the EP that really stay with you. “The Lion” is the silliest offering with a central, self-explanatory metaphor that couldn’t be more cliched and the lyrics to match. “One More Thing” is a welcome up-tempo opener though the draggy “Long Stemmed Roses” swiftly slows things down right off the top. The title track is interesting in that it clearly conveys Gelman’s lightweight angst at her overlooked station in the vast music machine, but the overall effect of the album is an argument for the passerbys who are paying only marginal attention to unoffensive “Streetlamp Musician”.
Full of simple lyrics and repetitive structures, I wouldn’t say that Streetlamp Musician is anything less than likable but it’s certainly not anything close to notable either.