Cold Specks I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

Cold SpecksI Predict a Graceful Expulsion
After a long lead-up, during which former Etobicoke, ON resident Al Spx's has seen her rather humble origin story championed, dissected and picked apart, we finally get her debut, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Does it warrant all the ink and pixels the now-London, UK-based singer has garnered since "Holland" started popping up online last summer? Well, there's no denying that Spx's voice is remarkable, reeking of American Southern gospel. And many of the songs on the record hinge on her voice alone ("Holland" being the best of the bunch). Yet even though a phalanx of UK producers helped polish this diamond in the rough, not all of the tracks sparkle. Openers "The Mark and "Heavy Hands," are sparse, with melodies so similar you'd swear they were one five-minute track if you weren't paying attention. It's not until "Winter Solstice" that we get a sense of the heights Spx is capable of. Songs like it and "Hector" show how much more effective she is when given a beat to back her, exposing hooks that would otherwise go unnoticed and letting the music swing. I Predict a Graceful Expulsion is not the great record some would have you believe it is, but it is a very good one. (Arts & Crafts)