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Much of this adorable British girls album was recorded in her home, adding to it that sweet self-layering that makes it so endearing. Some say her sound is similar to Feist, but she’s got some melodies of her own. She’s been involved in a whirlwind since her first album in 2009, Love.Life.Ukulele. Now The Rhythm You Started is spreading around the world with it’s simple tunes and great vocals.
“Stars” starts the album off with a blend of soft electronic beats and strums of the ukelele. The music is simple and repetitive, giving the appropriate stage to her voice which is beautiful and delicate in a wavering vibrato. This song is strong but stands in the shadow of the next song and title track of the album. “The Rhythm You Started” is one to get stuck in your head, and one you won’t protest. Her own rhythms are interesting and gorgeously melodic. It’s a sweet universal love song music lovers will especially enjoy with lyrics such as, “You took the beat of my heart/And you moved all the pieces, you pulled it apart/Now it plays on repeat and I cant stop/the rhythm you’ve started.” The song has an a cappella feel to it with the various layers of clapping and singing.
The violin in the background sets a more melancholy feel to the next song, “Little One”, despite its faster beat. Again she wields her “whoas” and “oohs” with great skill, which makes the song. From the violin we move into the intimate strum of the guitar in “Song to Fall in Love To”. This song brings in the feeling of fall, the perfect song to hide away from the chill with, and indeed the perfect song to fall in love to. Her lyric writing is poetical and sweet. The changes in the bridge got me every time, they are solemn and beautiful as she sings, “Butter colored light melting through the curtain/mixed with honey-scented sighs”.
While not my favorite song on the album, “Oil & Gold” brings its own with Madeleine’s own layered harmonies and a complex, well-done ending which results in a round with her self. “Butterfly Child” too falls behind some of the other, yet it too has its own uniqueness in the meaning which is slightly more haunting than the others, “butterfly child is stunning carrying on her show/but after a while she’s nothing/with nowhere to call a home.”
In “Battles”, once again her unique and beautiful voice leads in this song and it almost all that is needed. This song is orchestrated beautifully and showcases her voice to perfection. There is the surprising but appropriate use of drums in this song as well, catching attention halfway through. It’s lyrics too are new and add even more to the song: “I surrender. Now I’ll wave the flag/I’m beaten by the best enemy I’ve ever had.”
On my initial listen “Change the Numbers” as well as “The Rhythm You Started” were the ones to first catch my attention. This song is nostalgic and pleasantly catchy all at the same time. It leads nicely into the last two songs of the album, “Come Follow Me” and “Hypothetically Yours”. In “Come Follow Me”, the vocals start low and occasionally rise, an attention catching and beautiful mixture. This one has the most Country feel to it, still maintaining Sophie Madeleine’s own sweet mix as well. “Hypothetically Yours” is clever and more cheeky than the others, her lyrics more playful, “I’m not saying that I’ll break in two if you make like a tree…and leave”. She sings too that, “if I gave my body and soul/changed my for sale sign to sold/would you do the same”. It is a great memorable way to end the album, mixing together the best moments of rising voice and sweet low melodies.