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Make Your Own Danger

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Album Review

Ukraine-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Alina Simone delivers another poetic exploration of love and landscape on her third album, Make Your Own Danger. Once again, Simone is abetted by producer Steve Revitte, who constructs spare rock arrangements for her, with the instruments carefully isolated so that the drums and guitars are clear and separate, and other instruments, such as the celli of Greg Heffernan and Jenny Petrow, also have space to be heard. Simone is somewhat encased in the music, wailing her lyrics of urban alienation in a manner that can recall Björk or Patti Smith. "I want to feel love," she sings in the leadoff track, "Beautiful Machine," "Get caught in the echo chamber/I want to get crushed/In the beautiful machine." The words are full of such juxtapositions of feeling and regimentation, and Simone is particularly attracted to imagery that is hard and cold, as if all the songs had been written in the dead of winter. Even though he was a writer about the wilderness, Jack London makes an appropriate reference in "In the House of Baba Yaga," since he often set his stories in cold climates. Simone closes her examination of dichotomies with "Apocalyptic Lullaby," again a contrast between things soothing and threatening, making for an eerie, off-kilter collection of music that is nevertheless often compelling.


Born: Kharkov, Ukraine

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Alina Simone was born in Kharkov in the Ukraine and raised in the Boston suburbs. After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, she moved to Austin and turned to singing on street corners. She then moved to New York City and began performing in clubs. In 2004, she sang with the band Emma La Reina and as a solo act, then moved to Siberia, where she lived for six months, reconnecting with her Russian heritage. Returning to the U.S., she released her debut EP, Prettier in the...
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Make Your Own Danger, Alina Simone
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