Genre/Influences: Electro-pop, EBM.
Content: When I heard the debut album of Ayria I really didn’t suspect this Canadian project fronted by Jennifer Parkin (ex Epsilon Minus) to become one of the Alfa-Matrix flag holders. It’s not that I dislike the electro-pop carried by her sweet vocals, but it just was average like. Ayria built up a unique image and always very active on the net. Musically, the cyber-lady also evolved towards mature and accomplished productions. Parkin always takes the time to achieve a new album and this 4th opus appears 5 years after the great “Hearts For Bullets”.
We already got the opportunity to hear several snippets of the new album, but now I’ve heard the entire new work I can only say that Ayria really deserves the status of leading electro-pop formation. The new work for sure is the hardest stuff ever composed by Ayria. From the very first song on you’ll perceive pure EBM bass lines empowered by a carrying chorus. Jennifer Parkin still sings in her sweet and fragile style, but she also dares to sing a harder and enraged style on several parts.
“Hunger” is an amazing debut, but nothing more than a teaser for the upcoming pearls like “All That Glitters”, “Plastic Makes Perfect”, “Friends And Enemies” and “Big City Lullabies”. Ayria’s receipt is quite simple: powerful EBM elements mixed with danceable beats and carrying –poppy leads. A few guitar lines have been added on top of the work, just to inject an extra boost. And as the cherry on a pie there’s the angelic, but sometimes demonic way of signing of Jennifer Parkin.
“Plastic Makes Perfect” sounds like pure Ayria, but globally speaking the sound becomes harder. That’s for sure an essential evolution Ayria needed to go through to fully compete with the harsh, male projects. Ayria is pure female electro power that sometimes sounds hard, raw and merciless. The songs were composed with knowledge with a particular care for a great global production.
The limited edition features 13 extra songs of alternative mixes and remixes by some interesting names. The “Hunger – Mix” is an amazing piece of music revealing a terrific production in the use of effects and the global programming. One of the most surprising songs is the remix of “Missed The Mark” by Psy’Aviah. This song moves on the edge of commercial, sexy pop with a Madonna flavor on top.
Another cool remix is the techno-inspired one of “Big City Lullaby” by Pax Sono. I’ll also mention the “Imperfection Mix” of the title song featuring some empowered guitar riffs. Last, but not least the opening remix of “Mix The Mark” is another attention grabber.
The limited edition is really worthy of examination and also features Rotersand among the remixers.
Conclusion: The new album of Ayria is the best work of Miss Parkin to date. There are a few ‘new’ potential hits on it while the limited edition deserves you entire attention! Ayria still has the look, but confirms a great electro-pop talent.
Best songs: “Plastic Makes Perfect”, “Friends And Enemies”, “Big City Lullabies”, “Hunger – Mix”.