‘Third time’s a charm’ — a saying you can apply to practically anything and it could give you that little boost to get the results you’re striving for. Yet, if this was the outcome that New Zealand’s own Gin Wigmore was aiming for with her third 10-track offering Blood To Bone, it’s not necessarily the outcome we were expecting. Nor the outcome that we wanted, quite frankly.
So maybe that sentiment is a little harsh, but throughout this album you get the feeling that the power and vitality which dazzled us in Wigmore’s previous two offerings has somehow been lost with the addition of half-arsed and misplaced inorganic instrumentation.
No more is this apparent than in tracks This Old Heart, Black Parade, and DFU. The lack of marriage between the synthesised elements and the natural acoustics within This Old Heart makes for an incredibly confusing listen.
Black Parade sounds oddly Lana Del Ray-esque, but without the lyrical witticism. What is meant to be a crescendo of emotion and sound around the 3 and a half-minute mark sounds muffled, unmoving, and we trudge towards the end having wondered why on earth the song was granted a four-minute lifespan.
Eighth track DFU holds a stomping beat and synthesised vocal harmonies in the verse, yet it doesn’t seem to make sense next to the lighter, dryer vocals in the chorus.
It’s these mish-mashings of sound which lull in between other tracks which are a world apart. Third track Written In The Water is an absolute doozy, showcasing her trademark attitude-laden vocal twangs with an infectious drum build-up and remnants of brass additions which force you to move. Nothing To No One is another powerful number with resonating backing vocals and sharp tinkling keys that cut right through those low slices of bass and beat.
Then there are tracks with huge potential, such as entry track New Rush. A fetching rumble, with booming lower tones that seem to muffle the bulk of the driving guitar lines, but the pace and excitement of the track allows for forgiveness. In My Way holds a similar feeling.
Overall, it’s a shame. For someone with such a powerful and unique voice, Wigmore’s poor production has meant that Blood To Bone has fallen fairly short of the mark.
‘Third time’s a charm?’ Not quite. Three strikes and you’re out? Quite possibly.
‘Blood To Bone’ is out now via Island Records/Universal Music Australia.
Watch: Gin Wigmore — New Rush