May Devun does it all and does it right on “Penumbra Lounge” from deeply felt R&B to powerful pop. Her undeniably strong voice serves as the heart of the album. Soulful in tone the songs revolve around her passionate delivery. Thematically the songs deal with the universal difficulties of love. At times full of joy, at times bringing the utmost sense of despair, May Devun’s poetic lyrics deal with the entire gamut of emotions coming from this oftentimes impossible to understand feeling. Arrangements match her performance impeccably veering from industrial hued to the jazzy.
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“Echoes in the Dark” introduces the album with a far-off mechanical rhythm. As the song progress elements of classical and jazz enter the fray. With each passing moment May Devun grows in intensity until it reaches a fevered pitch in the song’s finale. By far the highlight of the album is the well-structured work of “We Walk Alone” whose darkened corners are reminiscent of Fiona Apple’s early work. Affording a sense of play is the giddy work of “Only Fool Here” with careful piano and expressive percussion. More light-hearted in tone (with a poppy chorus) the song gains in size scope and volume giving it a cinematic feel. Stripped down is the deeply affecting work of “Encore” where May Devun’s voice gains a level of intimacy as her arrangements remain nearly silent, leaving her in a vast unknowable space.
A stylistic tour de force, May Devun’s “Penumbra Lounge” is an accomplished intricate album full of life.
Posted by Beach Sloth