Charlee Remitz – Bright White Trims
Few young performers are as brash, ambitious, and ultimately as talented as Charlee Remitz. Taking some of her cues from performers like Lana Del Rey and others of similar ilk, Remitz goes a step further and rejects attempts to pin her down in one particular area. Instead, the eight songs on Bright White Trims maintains a solid modern base while exploring a number of different musical textures seemingly determined to keep listeners on their toes. The exemplary production wisely focuses on Remitz’s voice without sacrificing any sonic balance. In the end, however, the most impressive aspect of this album remains Remitz, bristling with attitude to burn, and showing supreme confidence in her vocal talents.
She seems content to play the role of pop princess at some points. A strong example of this is the opener, “King’s Cup”. Veteran admirers of many young female pop icons of today will recognize Remitz’s nods to contemporaries like Swift, Cyrus, and others. Remitz dispatches these sorts of songs with ample finesse and cool, unflappable confidence burning through every line. “Fillin’ In For a Goddess” takes a distinctly different turn. It incorporates all of the customary elements in this genre, vivid keyboard textures and highly physical rhythms, but Remitz introduces guitar into the song and peppers it with a touch of the exotic. It’s easily one of the album’s best tracks because it isn’t aiming for a narrowly defined audience – instead, “Fillin’ In For a Goddess” has the feel of a track drawing bead instead on widespread acceptance. “Cake Easter” pulls Remitz into decidedly adult territory once again. She adopts a rougher-edged voice with this track and displays a flair for harder fare than songs like the opener suggest. It’s a sexy, if not entirely new, hybrid mixing the uncompromising rhythms and subject matter of serious rap and hip-hop with the melodic strengths of top shelf pop and Remitz has nearly perfected her personal formula on songs such as this.
“BMW” follows a similar path but percolates with a clearer pop surface than heard on tracks like “Fillin’ In For a Goddess”. Once again, like the opener, Remitz handles material like this with sure-handed skill, but her talents seem to dwarf the song’s relatively modest goals. “Bitches and Ladder” probably deserves a parental advisory more than any one track on the album, but her target audience will surely delight in the song’s gleefully unrepentant raunch and romp. The album’s final three songs, “Juicebox Season”, “Stucco Houses”, and “Routines” find Remitz settling back to earth with much more traditional fare. The first song of this trio, “Juicebox Season”, is perhaps the album’s strongest pure pop confection, but the album’s final songs are equally memorable. She will wow some listeners with the undeniably catchy “Stucco Houses” and sunny, reggae flavored guitars help “Routines” sparkle brilliantly to close to the album.
If you harbor bias about this sort of music going in, leave it at the door. Charlee Remitz’s performances and material will confound your disdain and awaken you to the genre’s possibilities in the hands of talented artists. Bright White Trims is a strong pop album, seldom content to remain merely pop, and will likely earn many fans for this promising young performer.
8 out of 10 stars.
Gilbert Mullisemitz – Bright White Trims