Review: Lennon Stella is a breath of fresh air

The+dark+yet+intriguing+cover+art+for+Lennon+Stella%27s+debut+album+Three.+Two.+One.

Photo Columbia Records

The dark yet intriguing cover art for Lennon Stella’s debut album Three. Two. One.

Amelia Foster, A&E Editor, Multimedia Editor

The perfect pop song is something artists can spend years creating, always searching for their summer hit. With her first album, Lennon Stella managed to take what others strive for and make it her own, combining mainstream pop with something only she can make, resulting in the daydream that is Three. Two. One. 

Far from having only just entered the music scene, Stella first began her career on the show Nashville, eventually releasing a cover song that hit the Billboard Top 40 chart. Her voice is smooth and confident, with the accompanying electronic-pop creating a dark and dream-like atmosphere. Although the sound is consistent throughout her debut album, it’s far from being repetitive because each song has its own tone and style.

Stella doesn’t need to start with a bang to draw attention, and her quiet voice and gentle melody in “Much Too Much” invite the listener to turn the sound up right at the beginning of the album. The track, a retrospective song on a failing relationship, is a perfect introduction to Stella’s sound where she touches on darker topics while keeping her airy voice. Likewise, “Kissing Other People” starts with autotune and plenty of sound effects, yet all the added effects are never overwhelming and only add to the freeing song. Although some artists use mellow pop to hide the fact that they can’t sing, hoping that their lyrics will make up for what their voice can’t, Stella uses both her range and lyrical talent on Three. Two. One.

Its easy to conform to what others think you should be doing, but Stella abandons that fear on tracks like “Fear of Being Alone” and “Golf on TV.” Despite being the darkest song on the album lyrically, “Fear of Being Alone” is undeniable the most up-beat and vibrant—and that contrast goes with the content of the song itself. “Fear of Being Alone” is not a love song, although it is about love; instead, it’s about what people cling to in order to stay sane.

Lennon defies the rules in a different way with “Golf on TV,” a song that compares not understanding a relationship with not understanding why people watch golf on TV. Her voice is strained and emotional as she hits the chorus and although the lyrics made me laugh when I first heard them, the song is effective and a little painful.

I’m a sucker for when artists end their album on songs with titles like “Goodbye” or “Goodnight,” and Three. Two. One. is no different with the ending track “Goodnight.” Stella starts the song off with piano, eventually fading into her classic electronic-pop sound, as she sings about not wanting anything to end. Her high notes paired with drums and piano made me hit repeat time after time, wanting to postpone actually having to finish the album.

Stella ended her debut album on a promise that this is not the end, which I’m endlessly grateful for. Three. Two. One. may not be entirely unique in its sound, but Stella’s execution is different from anything on the radio right now. Whether you listen to Three. Two. One. for Stella’s voice, lyrics or sound, it’s sure to be a favorite album that will sneak up on you without warning,