Published October 23, 2012
On the surface of things, Reykjavík-based French singer Oléna appears to fit in well with the myriad of other kooky (in a good way) electronic artisans that verge on being a dime a dozen in these northern climes. Her debut album, ‘Made In Hurt By Heart,’ follows a familiar tradition of nice crunchy beats coupled with tender vocals, thus fitting in well with the aforementioned kooky electronic ménage. Musically speaking it is possible to appreciate the album, simply from the perspective that it is possible to appreciate any of Oléna’s very obvious influences, most notably, Björk. And that is Björk in glaring neon, not in subtle hints of lavender. Overtones, not undertones. Herein, unfortunately, lies the rather large problem with the whole thing: it is altogether devoid of any kind of spirit of its own. It floats along on the debris of its own derivations, almost to the point where it is uncertain who actually made the album. This factor alone is enough to detract from any possible enjoyment of the music, without going into the other more minor problems to be found lyrically and thematically. All in all, there is sadly a lot being lost here with an album that doesn’t sound half bad, but loses itself in its own influences.