Exposé Online banner

Petrina — Be Blind
(Ala Bianca, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-07-08

Be Blind Cover art

After last year’s collection of adaptations of the music of other composers, Debora Petrina is back with Be Blind, a set of original tunes stylistically reminiscent of Petrina (2013). In some ways, this release is more conventional than much of her previous work, emphasizing the more rock-oriented tendencies that she has occasionally explored. But that is not to say that Be Blind is ordinary or boring in any way. There are fewer of the quiet, subtle moments, but more of the powerful rhythmic energy that worked so effectively on “Denti” or “Princess.” The attitude is a bit like Tori Amos’ most progressive work (like Boys for Pele), presenting fascinating, unpredictable, sonically adventurous takes on popular song forms. Each of the ten tracks has its own identity, with differing blends of electric, electronic, and acoustic sounds. “Paper Debris (What Remains of Our Conversations),” with its electronic percussion and massive synth-bass, is followed by “Miles,” with a full band sound and a great 7/4 groove, and “Frog Song” is almost like a collaboration between Laurie Anderson and Devo (except the piano / cello middle section). Petrina’s keyboards range widely, from acoustic piano to a variety of synths and organ sounds. The guitar work, when present, is consistently good, providing the right touches of noise and distortion but only rarely playing standard parts. The surf-inspired riff on “I Like” is a wonderful touch that keeps the music grounded. When additional instruments are brought into the arrangements, they are beautifully arranged and interesting in their own rights. To cap it all off, Petrina’s amazing voice commands attention, whether she’s whispering or belting out powerful melodies. Every track is a winner, proving that incredible art can be accomplished in the arena of popular songcraft.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Debora Petrina

More info
http://petrina.bandcamp.com/album/be-blind

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blow up Hollywood - Fake – I’m sure they intend the band name to be interpreted as a command to attack Hollywood with explosives (sort of like “Kill Your Television”), but I choose to take the other meaning, imagining a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues