Feeling proud is something that everyone has felt at one time or another; from seeing your kids take their first steps, to walking onto the stage at Memorial Drive & performing alongside a Latino Legend. Adelaide’s own Orianthi has given us exactly that. It’s tradition to take ownership of artists within our local borders and one thing is for sure, Orianthi is very much the local South Australian girl who took the six string world in her hands and is forging ahead with an exciting career.
From her early beginnings, to being part of an elite group of hired guns, Orianthi was ready for anything that came her way. She has collaborated with the likes of guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, Carlos Santana and, memorably, Michael Jackson. All of these experiences paved the way to her first independent release Violet Journey in 2005, followed up by a string of top charting albums over the years. This brings us to 2020, IS-O.
Track one is best described as its title, Contagious. An ominous sounding intro followed by a thunderous groove leading into a smooth vocal line that is backed up by rustic harmonies Then, a signature Orianthi guitar solo that screams itself in existence. After listening to Sinners Hymn several times, it is easy to imagine it being performed live on a stage (the place artists and audiences currently miss!). It has a backbone made of steel and claws to match. A raw power embodies the vocal lines that made me think, I should be hearing this through a stack of speakers live!
2020 has been a challenging year. Rescue Me is a soulful track that has a cool acoustic intro and a story that speaks to the incarcerated! The chorus kicks the proverbial door down and sets the guitar solo free to tell the story of a way to freedom. The next few tracks are strong, with Blow being a back to basics rock tune and the intro to Sorry containing a Rock Vs Hip Hop groove. Layered with Orianthi’s vocal line, it is a groovy tune that breaks into a no apologies solo.
Crawling out of the Dark highlights Orianthi’s ability to write a beautiful heart break song. We have all been there before and it’s songs like this that help bring perspective and closure. I found it to be one of the most powerful songs on the album & certainly one of my favourites. Impulsive defines cool and has a real 70s swagger. I checked out the Official video that was released for this track. It’s a house jam packed with vibrant colours, fun, sensual stylizing. Right in the middle of it, Orianthi and band rocking the joint!
Streams of Consciousness is a laid back tune that once again has a powerful chorus that gears back to chilled out verses. As expected, the six string takes centre stage and Orianthi powers through a gutsy solo. Company to me is a groovy number with a weird but cool solo effect. Even before I heard Moonwalker, I envisioned what it sounded like. And I was right. Picture a moonwalker in amongst the stars and you’ll get the picture.
Orianthi’s song writing has matured through contemporary tunes flanked by innovative style collaborations, which will surely become classics. Writing from the heart and sharing it with the world is brave and shows the level Orianthi has risen to as an artist. Orianthi’s vocals shine on this album. I took time to really listen to her style, her tone & she leaves nothing to chance.
O is a testament to years of hard work, paying your dues & working your craft. Be sure to check out Orianthi’s new album and support our home grown talent!
Album Review By Peter Pap