Picks and Pans Review: Learning from Falling
Last year it was Alicia Keys; this year record-company impresario Clive Davis has had the publicity machine working overtime for Lamya: Spin magazine declared her one of six new artists to watch five months before her debut. So does this pop diva-in-training live up to the hype? Yes and no. Lamya, 28, who cowrote all but one tune, is a talent, possessing an ethereal, classically trained voice that soars effortlessly over music ranging from light, chilled-out hip hop to dramatic orchestral arrangements. The singer, who is of Omani descent, also embraces Middle Eastern influences on sumptuous songs such as "Splitting Atoms," which is laden with sitar and tablas. Though all of this sounds impressive, it lacks real passion, as Lamya holds the listener at a cool distance. (Her oblique lyrics and stylized delivery don't help.) She could learn from Keys's emotive example.
Bottom Line: Room for improvement