Bulgarian-born, but Florida bound, Geri X is a force to be reckoned with in her album White Light. With the exterior of a tattoo artist ready to fire up some trouble in the alley and the interior of a creative soul and beautiful mind. Not that the ink gets in the way of her natural aesthetics, she’s a darling face guised in art and revolution. It’s been said that this Tampa poet has the vocal intensity of a Mike Tyson punch with a side of serenity. And the big wigs at Rolling Stone voted her 2011’s best new indie artist. Need I say more? Geri X walks the line of driving enlightened pop and dirty folk. One minute it’s clean, the next it’s tainted but it’s always good. Her vocals act like a chameleon how they can play delicately with a song and at the same time release such a distinct quality, the same way Dido and Bjork garnered so much praise.
“White Light” strides slowly forward, ominously composed and painted through a filter of loss. The moments of dynamics really hit home to the listener and drive in the feelings behind Geri X’s powerful chorus – powerful in sound not necessarily volume. She can shake a room with an internal quaking, the kind we feel in our chest not in the floor. “Eating Crow” is a lighthearted folk pop anthem with such a lovely three chord-descending hook; it will have you humming along in no time. Geri X sounds young and naïve and it’s a cute deception in the end.
“Crutches” has a fat swishy backbeat and prominent bass line, vocal breaks, intimate story telling, crutches reference the hurt and injured heart, the feeling that even to walk is to invite pain. The melody stays strong and the guitar just adds strums perfectly reverbed and dialed in. Geri X breaks it down on “Lovin’ You Best,” an unplugged love story of swirling emotion. She belts, builds and bites in an intimate fray. With so few elements in this song, Geri fills in the gaps with excellent delivery and blend. The acoustic is sometimes all you really need, but I think even her a cappella could light fires.
White Light is an album that defies pure genre and gender expectation. Geri X writes in an ambiguous voice that could apply itself to men or women – true in tone and mature beyond her 24 years. If you haven’t guessed it already, Geri X is poised for take over.
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