Box –  Alisa Chirco (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If at one end of the wide pop spectrum you have brash identikit, dance routine driven, short shelf-life throw-aways, Box comes from the furthest point in the opposite direction. Here Alisa Chirco has created an elegant ballad that fuses pop with more classically minded sounds. The result is a song which has enough modernity to appeal to the current wave of pop fans but which has enough poise and grace that it will also appeal to an older and more discerning audience.

No tricks, no gimmicks, no cheap cash-ins, just a song that drips with emotion and dark drama, which creates its musical dynamic from the simplest and most effective ingredients and which underpins its classical nature and plaintive piano lines with shimmering electronica and uncomplicated beats. And it is this simplicity that means that Alisa’s exquisite vocal prowess is allowed to take centre stage. Again her voice is part musical theatre, spotlight solo and part commercially accessible chart ballad – it is the sound of two worlds keeping each others cliches in check and raising each others benchmarks.

It’s either a dark classical piece finding a way to exist in a more cynical and readily compromised musical world, or a dream-pop song giving older traditions a run for their money. It doesn’t really matter which as the result is the same. Sheer brilliance.

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