Singer/songwriter Rykarda Parasol‘s self-released For Blood and Wine is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2006 debut, Our Hearts First Meet. The album was praised by Germany’s Westzeit Magazine as “undisputed album of the year”. So the question became, would Parasol suffer a sophomore slump?
Critics have described Rykarda Parasol as the female Nick Cave. It is an apt comparison but there are aspects of Patti Smith and the Dresden Dolls. “One for Joy!” has a bit of a cabaret feel to it. “Hold Back the Night” sounds like a Leonard Cohen song. “Oh My Blood” feels like one of the drugged out Velvet Underground & Nico tunes.
With all the different influences you can hear in the music, its hard to say the album is one note but the album definitely seems to be stuck on one tempo. The tracks are generally fairly slow and plodding, which is not always bad but in this case I wish there was some other gear Parasol to go to to change up the monotony.
For Blood and Wine shows off Parasol’s depth of talent but not necessarily her width. The songs’ stagnant feeling might leave some listeners feeling bored. Lyrically and vocally she has the talent, but a couple uptempo numbers could do wonders for the album’s overall mood.