album review

Hannah Georgas mixes pop sheen with mature insight on intriguing ‘Evelyn’


It might seem perverse to compare a Disney-trained radio princess to an indie-minded avant-pop artist, but there are times on “For Evelyn” when Hannah Georgas sounds like nobody so much as Selena Gomez. But Georgas sounds like a full-fledged adult with some emotional experience and wisdom behind her, instead of a recent teenager declaring her grownup bona fides. And that, it seems, is just about all that separates Gomez from Regina Spektor, who haunts songs like “Walls,” “City” and “Angel All the Time,” with their soft piano foundation and vocal phrasing that hits syllables with unexpected emphases. Georgas lacks not only Gomez’s blankness, but also Spektor’s heartbleed. And while her sonic template, modern and spare yet lush, works wonders for “Don’t Go,” it’s otherwise isolated moments — the discordant saxophone blats pulling her toward St. Vincent in the danceable and lopsided “Waste”; the chewy synth bassline of “Crazy [Expletive]”; and the line “When you left me, I was ready for you to leave” in “Walls” — that suggest an excitement the songs can’t quite sustain. Still, “For Evelyn” rewards repeated listens, if only you don’t forget that it exists in between.



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