Album Review: Becca Roth – Unstable EP

Becca Roth is one of the most talented singer songwriters I discovered in 2016. Her vocal quality is consistently impressive and her songwriting is personal, evocative, and genuine. As I listen to the tracks on this excellent EP, I can’t help but feel like I’ve been introduced to a sweet soul. It makes me feel like I’ve gotten to know a new friend. It’s a gift of an album, for sure.

Roth’s sincere style comes through in what we might call pop music, although it’s got a style that is essentially soft rock. The opener “No One Has To Know” has some really great images, including a sense of falling in love and beautiful togetherness. There’s an interesting scene about going into a church feeling like they had already seen heaven. It’s ironic to me since Roth’s style reminds me of worship music in many structural and atmospheric ways.

The title track “Unstable” really reminds me of something from an artist like Alanis Morissette. The style is interesting, but a little less melodic than the opener. The lyrics read a bit more like a diary entry with an introspective feel. But one thing comes through on both of the first two tracks; Roth is a clever writer. She doesn’t use shapes or imagery in her lyrics. She writes with direct, expressive lyric content.

“Ever Since I Saw Your Face” has a wonderful opening. Roth sits down with her guitar and sings a love song. The harmonics on the guitar fill the track perfectly, allowing for an intimate style. When the strings quietly join the track, there’s a feeling of comfort and sweetness. When the full band joins, then, the track transposes to something a bit more like pop, but I really prefer the opening minimal style. The lyrics discuss seeing someone who seems angelic. It’s a bit hyperbolic, but we’ve all been in that moment where you look at someone who seemingly can do no wrong.

“I’m Not Yours” is a captivating style. It goes back to the style from the opener, but lyrically takes a new direction. “You didn’t mean to hurt her, you just held on too tight.” It’s about a breakup, written from an outside perspective. The third person or narrative style helps to tell what must be an emotional story. The final track “When You Need To Feel Something” is the most poetic on the album. The phrasing on the opening guitar is unbelievable. Honestly, I’d love to hear Roth come out with a fully acoustic album. She’s really gifted as just a “girl and her guitar.” The second half of the song builds into a style that helps you… well… feel something. It’s an interesting compositional technique, moving the listener to a more orchestral experience.

All told this album shows a versatile artist, poised for success in pop folk music. Roth’s artistic style is one that many listeners will find interesting. Her voice is clear and accessible. She doesn’t oversing her lines, instead delivering thoughtful lyrics with personal sincerity. The album feels like a nice conversation with a friend at the coffeeshop, explaining some pretty difficult but interesting situations. Her lyric, “I’m a sad girl too, darling hold on to me when you need to feel something.” Roth seems like a good person, a good friend, and a real artist who let her passion guide the music.

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