Born Ruffians: Say It
Pitchfork: Luke Lalonde is a pretty good singer. On Born Ruffians' full-length debut, 2008's Red Yellow & Blue, his voice was a tightly coiled spring that popped off in all the right places, hugging the record's herky-jerky rhythms close and often acting as a primer for the splashes of colorful guitar riffs that ran throughout the record. Even more impressive was his memorable turn on "Jamelia", from Caribou's latest, Swim. Lalonde softly vibed over the track's muted tones and shuffling beat before exploding during its fireworks finale.
So, yeah, guy's got some chops-- not that you would be able to tell from Born Ruffians' sophomore full-length bow, Say It. Lalonde seems to be cursed with a sense of tonal amnesia here; he squeaks when trying to reach his upper register, and when he takes on a lower end, it almost sounds like a piss-take. Sometimes, he sounds out of breath after singing just a few bars of melody; other times, he tries to cram so many melodic syllables into a single run that you wish he'd go get himself a spritzer and chill out or something. The overall result sounds untrained and amateurish-- not off-kilter, just plain off.
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