May 4, 2014

A Look at Shatter Me

I've been a fan of Lindsey Stirling for a good three years now, discovering her through her Zelda Medley video and quickly developing a huge respect and adoration for her. She has this element of inspiration about her that I've not seen in many other artists. She's very humble, and it's her story of how she came to be here that really is the crux of why I love her. It's not her musicianship or her music, though the latter is certainly something that I love; it's the fact that she struggled and prevailed in the face of obstacles, most of which I can wholeheartedly relate to. If you've ever been told you can't do something, you've either given up or proceeded with whatever it is anyway but with more determination than ever. It's the second option that Lindsey chose to take, and she made the absolutely right decision because of it.

With her first album, I had written a review of it that was really awful because quite honestly, I don't know how to review music. It's not something that I do, and I don't have much knowledge on what to exactly convey in the review. I'm conflicted on what to talk about here, because on the one hand, Lindsey's music is very personal to her and so she wants to convey her messages whatever those may be through the music. But for me, music is most meaningful when it is judged by the person listening to it. Subjectivity in music is absolutely fine; I actually encourage it. Because what is music even about if it has a specific meaning? I mean, you can argue that a song has a message in it (and this album definitely has a message behind it), but to what degree that message is allowed to permeate your feelings about the song is really up to the listener. Music is so powerful in this regard.

Shatter Me is an album that Lindsey has always wanted to make. With her debut album, about half the stuff on there had already been released as singles, and the rest of it didn't really feel like authentic Lindsey stuff upon first listening. It took me a long time to really "get" the new music on there, which is why my review sucked. I don't have it anymore because I was kind of ashamed of putting such a weird and off-the-point thing on my blog, but in that review I said something to the affect of "this isn't Lindsey. I'm not hearing anything meaningful in here."

I've since changed my views about that completely, because that album isn't the one that she gets to go all out on and take risks; that album is the one that she must prove can swim before she can get into deep diving. Shatter Me is the deep diving album! This thing is amazing mostly because Lindsey really did put her all into this. First off, this includes two songs: the titular "Shatter Me" sung by Lzzy Hale, another one of my favorite artists, and "We are Giants" sung by Dia Frampton. Both of these songs were written by Lindsey to help express what she was going through early on in her life, what she believes in, and her mental process in getting to where she is now... at least that's what she says it means; to others it could mean something completely different.

Anyway, the two songs on here are both really good, but I will come out and say that I don't think that this album should have been called Shatter Me at all. I think it should have been called We Are Giants, because that is the song that best expresses Lindsey as she is to me. But again, that's just my interpretation of the whole thing. "We Are Giants" is a great song, talking about standing up for what you believe in even if your voice sounds so small, and how that doesn't matter because you mean something to someone. This best illustrates in music what Lindsey has said elsewhere, and I think this song is the track that best represents what she means to me.

Other tracks on here that are of note are "Roundtable Rival", a really neat pseudo orchestral piece that mixes with dubstep and awesome fiddle motifs that all result in this nifty tune that just sounds like it's meant to be in a car commercial! It has this slick feeling about it; I love it. "Swag" is another one on here that I originally didn't really like, but it's grown on me a lot. I like the tune of this, and the backbeat of the piece is pretty groovy. In fact, unlike a lot of her previous album's pieces, most of these are very lyrical; I can hear themes and leitmotifs that come back in other pieces, and some thematic material from the last album that's been expanded or changed a little for this one, which is also really cool. It's a nice evolution if you will from one album to the next.

The lyricalness of most of the tracks on here I think is indicative of what Lindsey was trying to express here: that of finding yourself and being what she calls a "free spirit", not bound by the rules set out by the industry. I think her album reflects this perfectly, as the tracks on here are very bright, they're all really dance-like, and they bring Lindsey back to her roots of being a dancing violinist, as all of these make you want to get up and dance.

I'm still not sure if this review is at all helpful or informative in any way, but I am sure that Shatter Me is an awesome experience! It's a very story-oriented album from an inspiration of mine whose struggles and accomplishments in light of those obstacles are very meaningful to me. I continue to listen to Lindsey's music daily, with this album as a welcome addition into the mix of Lindsey Stirling music!

1 comment:

  1. You know? I discovered Linsdey Stirling songs with Zelda's Medley. She's amazing! Her medleys, covers and songs inspire me to write my stories (I'm a future writer ^^). I can hear her violin sing all the day... It's like she makes the violin come alive... My favourite ones are Electric Daisy violin, Trascendence and Shatter me... *O*

    P.S: My mothern language is Spanish. Sorry if I mistook some words... I'm still learning...