Liner Notes: 'Hello' & Welcome To Andy Allo's Pop Side


The name of Andy Allo might ring a few memory bells.

For some she came to attention by way of the Great Purple One, as under his tutelage, Allo basked in his protégé glow to become a part of the New Power Generation, releasing the super funky, Superconductor project in 2012. Others might remember her from a few years back as she was bright-eyed and eagerly easing out sublime acoustic soul on her 2009 debut, UnFresh. Or you might have recalled her angelic voice putting Blu & Exile's boom bap on ice with their 2011, Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them cut, "Ease Your Mind".

Whether your recalling or just tuning in, the Cameroonian chanteuse and guitarist is introducing us to yet another side to her aura, as she extends a warm and friendly handshake with the five-track EP, Hello.

Those who have been down with Allo for a while will be surprised to hear that Hello is pop to its core. First introduced with the sunburst of single "Tongue Tied", Hello cites a drastic detour away from the supercharged funk and dreamy Corinne Bailey Rae-styled acoustic soul Allo made strong first impressions with as she reflects and rebel yells atop grinding guitars and partakes in frosted cupcake-y rhymes. Though these are stark changes that glisten with the pop appeal of Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift, Allo elevates the experience by retaining her impressive vocal range, as it shimmers with crystal-clear dimension and is nuanced throughout --- specifically when she sways and yearns in a hammock of country-pop melodies for "Don't Ever Say". Some of Prince's teachings rear on the twinkling, "Northern Lights" as it plays in his lyrical hand of his most dramatic twilight rock ballads, and it is the EP's shining standout.

In a way, Hello, offers Allo another way to introduce herself to those unaware of her massive talents, but such starkly different salutations leads one to wonder musically what Allo is really attempting to do. While her ability to experiment makes for an exciting little cache of material, when she plows in the guitar frenzied "Into The Wild" and gets her Rocky Balboa on with fruit punchy, "Fighter", she comes off surprisingly bland, as they cruise the cells of the Top 40 but leave Allo's previous charm to wander. As much as I'm down for revved up empowerment tracks and feel Allo is with her best intent, the lyricals themselves leave a little to be desired, especially from someone who has poetically flowed better, and much more authentically, with singles like "Dreamland" and "Hooked".

Hello's pros still outweigh its cons, as Allo offers up a pipin' hot fresh delivery on power pop that sheds light on her chameleonic tendencies as a composer and hints at further sound ventures to come.

Hello is available for purchase and download via iTunes, as well as ready to stream via Spotify and SoundCloud.

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