Lenka’s newest album shows no growth

Lenka, the artist who broke into the mainstream a few years back with her hit song “The Show,” is back. Her sophomore album, appropriately titled Two, doesn’t diverge much from the musical style of her first album; She’s still peppy, bubbly and sweet, with enough flair to remain interesting.

Sweet sound · Lenka’s newest album, Two, fails to show any major improvements from her first album and contains mostly cliché songs. - Photo courtesy of Big Hassle

Two is a very middle-of-the-road album. It’s not bad and it’s not great enough to receive any particular recognition. It’s a step above being a conglomeration of sugary-sweet nothings. The album is nothing to get excited about, but there are a handful of songs worth purchasing.

One of those is the catchy opening track “Two,” which is easily the liveliest and one of the strongest songs. It’s a melody-and-drums driven song and has a great beat that will have listeners at least bopping their heads along, if not dancing.

“Two” is followed by “Heart Skips A Beat,” the album’s first single. Though not as catchy, “Heart Skips A Beat” is a decent, sweet song which features more electro-beats. Ultimately, though, the track is nothing too special.

It leads into “Roll With The Punches,” a smooth, upbeat song about shaking off whatever life throws your way, which arguably would have been a better first single than “Heart Skips A Beat.”

“Roll With The Punches” is Lenka’s new “The Show.” Although “The Show” featured more piano, the music styles and overall messages are similar. The track will take Lenka fans back a few years, while offering new listeners a simple, enjoyable song.

The first bump in the album is reached as soon as “Everything At Once” starts to play. The instrumentals during the verse sound similar to something you would hear at a cliché carnival and the melody is repetitive and underdeveloped.

Coupled with the melody, the lyrics are surprisingly childish and distractingly silly, especially with lines like As sly as a fox, as strong as an ox / as fast as a hare, as brave as a bear. It’s a song destined to be skipped over.

Everything’s Okay,” which sounds similar to Marit Larsen’s “If A Song Could Get Me You,” rises above the flavorlessness of the other slow songs on the album.

The transition from the verse to the chorus is similar to skies clearing after a storm; the track starts off somber but breaks into something a little more cheery in the chorus without losing the easygoing pace.

Most of the others songs blend together. Aside from “Everything At Once,” none of the songs are downright bad, but there’s nothing particularly engaging about them.

Two seems to be even with Lenka’s first album in terms of quality, which means the artist is either playing it safe or simply hasn’t grown much as a musician.

Although Two is a little punchier and more energized than her previous album, it would have benefited from more brass instruments to add some pizzazz to her sound.

As for the lyrics, Lenka fans and casual listeners waiting to hear something different might be disappointed. Lenka isn’t completely generic, but her lyrics don’t stray far from what listeners would expect from cutesy love songs.

For example, in “Heart Skips A Beat,” the first verse starts out with My heart is playing tricks on me / And it’s building bricks on me, which sounds intriguing, but then it ends with I can’t break through / And I can’t face you, which falls into the generic trap. Was anyone expecting that last line to end in anything except “you?”

Lenka walks a very fine line of wanting to be straight-forward yet poetic.

It’s easy to tell she means well with her words, but it would be nice for her to become a bit more unique and masterful with them.

Lenka has her own personal charm, which helps her craft her music, making it difficult to dislike her. When it comes down to it, Lenka’s music is like candy; it’s sweet and fun, but ultimately leaves something to be desired.