Orianthi – Believe

Orianthi Panagaris now known simply as Orianthi is best known for being a guitarist in Michael Jackson’s band for the tour that never was. Orianthi was featured in This Is It the making of the tour that never was and showed immediately why Michael gave her the nod, quite simply she may be the best female hard rock lead guitar player…. umm…. ever, and she’s only 24!
Believe is the new record from this six string female phenom and let’s make no mistake this is a pop record. Does it rock? Yes, no, sort of, I’m not sure, but no. The first track According To You is what you would expect for a first single with the old boyfriend was mean new one is nice story line. For what it is it’s a good track with a fantastic solo that illustrates her virtuosity and should do pretty well for her exposure wise. The next track Suffocated is definitely the best rock track, again with a good sing along chorus and tasty guitar licks. Track three Bad News is in the same universe as the first two but not as strong. Track four Believe is where the trouble starts, what may have started as a fun gooey pop rock record suddenly veers off into a Shania Twain crossover record, for this I blame the producer. The production of the record is pop 101 (which means it is over compressed and almost devoid of feeling) I guess it makes sense because she’s 24 and cute and probably has people “advising” her. I’n reality her guitar playing gives her away… she belongs to rock and roll and this record is not rock and roll. Track seven tries to return to the promise of the first three tracks but just can’t quite get their even though it has big guitars. Track ten Highly Strung is the I love Steve Vai thing, it does showcase just how dang good she is (and Vai) but as with most of the songs it continues to muddle the waters as to what kind of record this is supposed to be. Her voice is good but super produced in a way that she just can’t do live, it’s not that she has a bad voice it’s just a little thin. Bottom line is this, if she does well with this record than we can look forward to more uninspired pop poop with a few fun-ish songs. If it just does okay (maybe through divine intervention)? Then maybe, just maybe she sheds the Disney pop pretense in favor of a real exploration into soulful rock and roll… or if nothing else she can always play in someone else’s band again. Here is a thought; female super group with Orianthi on guitar, Pearl Aday on vocals, Dale Anne Brendon on drums (saw her on youtube, she’s sick) and for now how about Paz Lenchantin on Bass… do we have a deal or what? So at the end of the day this is a forgettable record but on a bright note my daughter loves the first three songs which makes me smile… she’s almost 5.

2.0 out of 5 Anarchy Speakers

One Response to “Orianthi – Believe”

  1. Hamgrenade says:

    Gave a couple tracks a listen on Rhapsody. I think your assessment is right on. The ultra-compressed production contributes to the Kelly Clarksonish/souless nature of it, but that is the nature of that type of pop-oriented style where you try to put the vocalist front and center in an otherwise distorted, hard driving rhythm section.

    It has an 80's sensibility to it. Almost a Pat Benatar feel to it -only she doesn't quite have the independence to get the Benatar results. As you state, she probably has a lot of handlers making decisions for her that results in a contrived, hollow pop product a la Pink.

    However, the fact that she is laying down her own tasty guitar licks really makes you want to like her. She is still young. My guess is that she will take ownership of her artistic direction in a few years and we'll see some unique, quality music from her.