Gianna Lauren's Tranquil 'Vanity Metrics' Goes Down Smooth

Gianna Lauren's Tranquil 'Vanity Metrics' Goes Down Smooth
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Some records just feel temporary; even if the content of the music is imprinted permanently onto a vinyl record or digital file, listeners can sometimes feel as if they're experiencing something that was captured during a fleeting moment in time. Gianna Lauren's Vanity Metrics is one such record, encapsulating a sense of momentary stillness presented in a dreamlike fashion.

Lauren's hypnotic voice, which simultaneously blends hints of Alanis Morisette and Adrianne Lenker, shines brilliantly throughout, crystallizing on top of the subtly layered mix. Complemented by slinky guitars and a standout rhythm section, Lauren weaves threads of mellow instrumentation with incredible efficiency.

On "Whoa," her faint vocal attack clashes wonderfully against the synth-infused arrangement, while the surprisingly swampy atmosphere of "Closed Chapter" provides a pause from the otherwise supernaturally hazy backdrop. Lyrically, Lauren's simplistic poetry fits perfectly within her selectively sparse sonic landscape.

However blissful, some of Lauren's songwriting choices leave something to be desired. The choral backing vocals on "Innocent Tourist," for example, seem oddly ethereal for its present and intimate setting. Elsewhere, the whispery repetition of "Disappear" is an unfortunately forgettable melodic finale. It's not as if the arrangements are dry or erroneously constructed, they just sometimes border on pedestrian.

Still, Vanity Metrics is a serene expression of tranquillity paired with bundles of unconfined instrumentation. Whether interpreted as a pedestal for Lauren's tenderhearted voice or as an exploratory work of art-rock, it just works. It's cosmic, calm, and, most importantly, rolls off the ear without a speck of disorder. (Forward Music Group)