Nothing Wrong with Elza’s Debut Album
Elza’s Nothing Wrong is an enterprising affair concocted by the Canadian-by-way-of-Russia/Israel vocalist. The 10-cut debut album is the follow up to her first offering, Glories, a 5 track EP released in 2014. The singer songwriter kept busy in the between time performing with a 7 piece band, although she briefly returned to recording in 2017 with the all instrumental tune “Clear”. Since then, she’s been predominantly holed up with her team of instrumentalists, engineer, and producer Ronen Roth laying down tracks in Israel that would eventually result in absolutely Nothing Wrong.
There’s little Elza doesn’t do on this splashy, rock-inspired outing that shifts moods, metaphors, and musical backdrops—often within the same number. She, her band, and Roth are collectively responsible for writing, composing, arranging, and producing the entirety of the album. She also handles lead vocals and leads the band in what is largely an acoustic effort—minus the few requisite synth riffs embodying the work with an otherworldly quality, keeping the sound fresh.
From the very opening notes of “Moonlight and I”, the Tori Amos influence is apparent throughout her vocal stylings—especially on the elongated high notes that shift texture and pitch in mid-air. Most of the album feels as though the songwriter deliberately devised arrangements bordering on the unusual with off-kilter drum patterns, disparate keys, and even a few dissonant guitar wails.
However, she strikes gold on the title track, in which the progressive novelty of alternative inspiration is forsaken for pure perfection. The keys shimmer and she comes in smooth, gradually building her way to a crescendo of well timed drums that accentuate the pristine melodies guiding the listener through the set’s most impeccable performance, replete with vibrating bass and lush keys.
She saves her most cogent guitar work for “Room”, which might have more than a few fledgling musicians reaching for their samplers to make good on the central riff that’s begging for the phat snares and 808’s the rap game’s been missing of late. The strumming gets even more intricate as the number goes on, eventually erupting into gleeful, spasmodic rock that would make any 60’s or 70’s long hair teen proud. “Swayed” is able to sustain good energy that could galvanize the spoken word, open mic or poetry reading set. In all, this is a credible debut from an artist who proves she does know how to write a tune or two, and see them all the way to fruition.