Lisa Orlando – Last Night Of My Life – Album Review
Definitely a ton of positives to be found here in the results of artist Lisa Orlando’s debut record. Word on the street is that she’s been connected to music for pretty much her entire life, starting out like so many genuine talents out there do at a very young age, writing her first songs to help navigate herself through the toughest parts of growing up. The extreme parts. The hardest of the hard. Lisa’s not only had to contend with battling depression, anxiety, and addiction, but also the loss of her father when she was only twenty-one years old. There’s no doubt that she’s been through more already at what’s still clearly a young age, than many of us experience in one lifetime – but where the enveloping darkness threatened to claim her, Lisa found her way into the light through music, and remains in the recovery process, armed with a new lease on life, empowered mindset, and a whole bunch of new music for ya.
From what I can see online, looks like she started dropping her singles onto the net around 2019, one of which – “IDK” resurfaces here on her official debut record, along with another track called “Right Here” from last year in a revitalized remix form, and her most recent cut “Wake Up” released in support of her brand-new album to entice the people in this year. Make no mistake y’all – yes, she’s been through a lot already according to the details I’ve read about her life so far – but she’s still young & well towards the early part of her career – there is tons of excitement to follow as she turns her dreams into new reality.
She comes out a bit low-key energy-wise in comparison the snap of the beat surrounding her as her opening cut “Your Love” begins, saving that extra gear for the most intense demands in the chorus to come. Like any artist should at this stage of their career, Lisa reveals a few potential aspects for her music to evolve – and like I’ve always told ya, that’s about the best thing any artist could ever hope for. Coming outta the gate with nowhere to go but down would be a terrible fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The consistency of the strength in her tone proves to be the biggest challenge in this opening track as she switches between the two main energies she sings with; you can hear her absolutely thriving and excelling in her element as she embraces the intensity of the chorus, but you can also hear a bit more of a struggle to stay on course with the mellower demands of the verses. Ultimately, the writing & her vocal highlights still break through more than anything else in terms of the impression Lisa makes at the start of Last Night Of My Life – and of course, that’s a huge plus. She’s still got really clever hooks written into the fabric of the verses that is right on the money – and truthfully, for me, they even rival the strength of the hooks in the chorus when it comes to the melody & writing. I’ve got no problem telling Lisa that she’s sounding good right now & heading easily towards greatness – there’s never a reason not to let someone in on the honest perspective of what you hear in their music, it’s what helps artists truly grow the way they need to. Like…for example…a song like “Your Love” is a song that she’s going to CRUSH over these next years to follow as she brings it to the stage & has that time & experience with the material under her belt – I have full confidence in that, 100%. The main reason I feel so sure about that is the difference between verse one & verse two – you can hear the effect of Lisa settling into the moment, finding the core of the melody, and perhaps more importantly, finding the right way to get her best into the microphone – it’s right there in the evolution of the very first song! I have no doubt whatsoever that an artist like Orlando continues to get better & better & better from where they originally start; the bottom line is that everything you’ll hear on “Your Love” already shows clear signs of an artist that’s got the magic, the vibe, and the potential to take it to the limits & beyond.
First of all, the music of “So Dangerous” is a straight-up triumph, that much I can tell ya – and I guarantee, I’m no oracle here, you’ll notice it immediately as well as this second cut begins. Overall, I’m massively impressed with the difference in Lisa’s performance between these first two tracks already – I felt like she came out gunning with the right energy and fierce lyricism that really comes out swinging with brutal honesty reflecting on mistrust & the breakdown of a relationship trying to live rent free in her head long after. I do think that the hybrid blend of Pop/EDM may or may not work out for her in the court of public opinion on this particular tune…we’re talking about two decisively different styles of sound fused into this one track, which while it makes for a 2-for-1 type experience for some of us, for others it might be a bridge a bit too far. For the most part, I’m right there with it & here for it – I’m pretty sure that dramatic switches in this structure are bound to be noticed, and there’s always value in that…and I appreciate that there’s kind of an audibly declarative statement being made by Lisa here, that makes it crystal clear this is Pop-based music yes, but with a ton of additional depth and dimension. Love the backing vocals she’s put in, love the lead vocals in the verses as well, love the words she’s put into this cut and how unfiltered, direct, and real she can be. If I had any advice for this young superstar to consider, it would be to remember that words themselves come with an inherent power of their own – so like, for example…a word like “dangerous” has that opportunity to become a bit more venomous or aggressive, because that’s the nature of the word itself & why it’s been chosen in the first place, you follow me? Where the chorus uses a more delicate approach to Lisa singing the title, I kind of see that as the opportunity to attack lines like the “so dangerous” from the lead overtop with a bit more fire & aggression, and especially in considering that the music makes that intense transition into dynamic EDM sound at the same time, know what I mean? I would get it if listeners felt like they were hearing two song’s worth of ideas within this one tune, or two styles fused together a bit jarringly – and in my opinion, I felt like the verses come out with a bit more beef & strength to’em, but “So Dangerous” still revealed a more consistent performance from Orlando that speaks strongly on behalf of her versatility.
You see folks? There’s a reason I’m more direct than others when it comes to the reviews I write – it’s so that when an artist knocks it straight on outta the park like Lisa does with “Fell In Love With The Darkness,” they know I’m not just here to pump tires, you dig? There’s so much to love about this track I’ve lost track of all the many ways I could tell ya – Lisa’s bang-on from start to finish with the most sensational performance you’ll find in the first three tunes – and the highlight hooks of “Fell In Love With The Darkness” are entirely bulletproof. As she slides into the chorus for the first time around the one-minute mark, that’s the moment…that right there is THE MOMENT where I was like, HELLZ YES, that’s the victory I was looking for Lisa to reveal…the slickness of the melody, the way she sings it – it’s perfection, and an incredible example of tailoring the words to really work in tandem with the strengths of the dynamics in the music. So as you shift away from what’s a more intense & involved sound in the verses, you end up hitting this moment of crystal clarity & low-end vibes that gives Lisa the opportunity to make a major impact with the main hooks of “Fell In Love With The Darkness” – and she CRUSHES it. Stoked on everything I’ve heard here – I think Orlando deserves a massive amount of credit for the way this track turns out to be the highlight it is – take a closer listen, you’ll realize that every moment of the vocal melody you hear is one she’s had to create on her own more or less. In the verses, that’s entirely her…there’s precious little to really guide her in that respect being offered through the music, which is mainly just a beat & a couple notes here & there – fully entertaining, don’t get me wrong – I’m literally just pointing out the fact that Lisa carries a tremendous amount of weight on her shoulders to supply the bulk of the melody you find on “Fell In Love With The Darkness” – she’s an extremely crafty & clever songwriter y’all. She’s shown that plenty already, but tracks like this one are proof of that fact, 100%. Execution-wise though, I’d have a hard time imagining anyone out there hearing this cut differently than I do – Lisa’s rockin’ the mic with full confidence & energy in all the right places, the music is designed to hit your speakers with that spark they’re craving…it’s stylistic, it’s bold, it’s catchy, it’s massively accessible…it’s what ya call single-worthy sound dear readers, dear friends – Orlando’s nailed this track.
Musically, heck yeah, I’m all about “Right Here (Lectriq Remix)” personally – I’m definitely loving the variety of sound and bold choices being made in the structure…it’s got wild elements of IDM bursts that switch it up from the EDM core, which gives this song a spectacularly riotous vibe you pretty much can’t help but notice. There’s part of me that feels a little similar towards “Right Here (Lectriq Remix)” as I did towards “So Dangerous” as to this song also having that two-songs-in-one depth in its design that could prove to be challenging for some – but like…I mean…can ANYONE out there resist Lisa in the chorus of this fourth cut? As far as my ears can tell, that’d be impossible – she brings this whole song to life with the switch in sound & direction you’ll find as “Right Here (Lectriq Remix)” transitions to its chorus – it’s not just a great moment on this song, but one of the most significantly memorable highlights on this whole record. I’ll admit…it took me a while to come around to the sound of the verses here, as much as I appreciated the sheer strengths of the vibe…the opening verse was the toughest in that regard – but you’ll notice that the next time it pops up, it has that opportunity to hit us even harder after coming out of the chorus – and in that moment, it’s unquestionably magnificent. Along with the additional Electro flexin’ stylistic swagger & innovative creativity in the music surrounding her, Lisa’s on-point with another great performance and a cut that’s bound to get its fair share of the attention for the uniqueness it offers ya. I think she’s got a chorus so strong it pretty much threatens to leave that verse in the dust in some ways, but all-in-all, I felt like the longer you get to spend with “Right Here (Lectriq Remix)” the more you end up appreciating just how HUGE this song can be & how brilliantly Lisa shines in the hooks.
“Karma” was the first track where I debated its inclusion more than any other in the lineup. Part of me gets it – the acoustic-based sample that guides the music is really enticing, and I felt like there were really strong elements to the verses – but if I’m being entirely honest with ya, this cut seemed to just be missing that essential spark in the uniqueness we’ve been from Lisa over the previous four tracks. Lyrically, “Karma” has a great mix of grounded wisdom and fired-up empowerment, with Lisa taking control of the aftermath and sounding fully ready to flip the script as she surges into the future of her life & music-career. I’m not entirely lovin’ the design of the melody that fuels the chorus, and that’s probably the main hang-up for me when it comes to “Karma” – there are elements of the verses that seem to be a bit too close of a match to music here & there, but the chorus seemed to follow a pattern that didn’t quite give us that same level of energy, imagination & creativity Orlando’s proven to be ready to supply by comparison to the rest. It is rhythmic, it is catchy, and tone-wise, Lisa’s right on-point, so don’t get me wrong…there’s pretty much no reason to complain…just making observations here that may help guide her in the future. The verse comes out as the winner here for me on “Karma” – I still think Lisa has more in the tank than she displays here…it’s a bit of a bare-bones tune in terms of that Pop/EDM combo she creates…it’s still got a solid enough melody & Lisa’s stellar vocals to keep us engaged, but I’m always real with ya – I think she’s got better cuts on every side of this particular track. Keeping in mind that this is her debut however…ain’t no doubt she’s still rocking at a very high standard.
“Touch My Body” arguably heads more towards what you know & love about EDM music, pumping out sound in an upbeat & intentional party-mode type of way. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that yo! Lisa sounds like she’s fully present & right in the moment, she’s got great energy on the mic in the verse & chorus – I felt like she’s got really well-balanced entertainment designed for ya to turn up for here on “Touch My Body.” Obviously we’re in the mood for some lovin’ when it comes to the lyrics thematically, or at the very least some touchin’ as implied – so brace yourselves ya prudes, it’s about to get steamy in your speakers. I felt like the rhythm & flow of the chorus was bang-on…tons of personality, tons of fun to listen to – Lisa’s put in an electrifying melody that’s got her moving like a live-wire as she sings the main hooks…definitely catchy, and a cut I’d assume will have no problem at all finding an audience. While it’s probably less likely to be the kind of song that busts her out of the sea of sameness when it comes to the vibes out there running through the Electro circuit in terms of what you’ve heard & what you know from other artists out there in the scene – there’s still something to be said in support of a song that’s well executed from start to finish & designed to turn good times into great ones. Lisa’s got a cut created to be turned up & celebrate the specific moment you’re in RIGHT NOW – like I said, ain’t nothin’ wrong with that – believe me, I don’t think her audience will run into any problems at all turning this right UP. From the Salsa style vibes & Latin-music inspired energy it has, to the catchiness it comes with, “Touch My Body” is pretty much guaranteed to win the people over as it shifts gears from the low-key verses into the radiant sound of the chorus…this is a cut with a real celebratory spirit & pure passion on display.
Getting to the strengths of “IDK” at the main hooks in the chorus, it’s certainly easy to understand how this cut that traces back to her beginnings ended up on her debut record two years later here in its remastered form – this is still a really strong cut in this lineup, even with material surrounding it that’s obviously more current in her timeline. The reality is, “IDK” is every bit as fresh & relevant for anyone out there that hasn’t heard it yet like myself, and it’s a completely cohesive fit with the majority of this debut album. Smart to include it if you ask me – far too many times I see singles and songs from EPs not end up on a final record, and you know they’d add significant strengths to a record in many cases…I think Lisa chose wisely to include “IDK” on her first album. For one thing – any of you out there that might have had some kind of doubts over whether or not she’s had it from day one should be silent now – “IDK” proves she definitely did indeed, and this album is a reflection of how she’s put her talent to use. The…hmm…you might call it a vocalization of sorts, or some kind of soulful hum – whatever it is you wanna call what Lisa is singing at the end of the chorus hooks…that’s worth the price of admission on its own – it’s straight up one of my favorite moments in any song on this record & I’d love to hear Orlando busting out this kind of move a whole lot more in the future. “IDK” is a really well written tune – Lisa makes her moves on the microphone with precision & professionalism, and in this lyrical battle that revolves around the push/pull of relationships & wanting someone that doesn’t seem to want you back as much as we’d like them to – the questioning & confusion that runs through “IDK” is fully universal. We’ve all been to this place in life & love at some point along the way, and that relatable aspect to “IDK” is sure to get many people into this song, every bit as much as the stellar performance that Lisa puts in. Trim that ending up though…the online Spotify version comes with an extra 20-25 seconds of silence.
Personally, I like cuts like “In My Head” quite a bit – this is a highly crafted song with a whole lot of thought that’s been put into the depth of its sound, details, and lyrics. I can recognize that this is probably more of a challenge to the average everyday listener than the vast majority of this record, but it’s an adventurous, ambitious, and artistically-inclined cut that likely illuminates some of the innate creativity of Lisa Orlando that we’ll hear bloom & blossom even more over the years to follow. As it stands right now, “In My Head” is kind of what you’d expect on the tail end of the spectrum in the length of an entire career – it’s a good start, but probably a bit more on the side of sound that’s going to have to work a bit harder to win over the masses. Which is always the case when you find a more weighty vibe and artistic idea – don’t sweat it in the least Lisa, it’s just the nature of the game. The real bottom line is that there’s a lot more uniqueness in a track like “In My Head” and smart moves being made like you hear in the production that puts the vocals in at a distance, making it feel like we’re hearing the voices in our own head & illustrating the point Lisa’s making via this audibly clever method. I think the reality is that it’s gonna take a few spins before people appreciate the depth & scope a song like this has, or realize just how much it speaks strongly on behalf of Lisa’s creativity as an artist…hopefully with a couple spins the people catch on…this is the kind of art & music combo that should be fully encouraged. “In My Head” has Lisa tossing away the notion of traditional & typical hooks, and diving right into the craft to create something much more bold, unique, and expressive that displays an entirely different dimension of her style & sound. Like I said, I think this is the early stages – the roots of something even more incredible to come throughout her career later on down the road, assuming she gets the right encouragement & support for a track like “In My Head” *cough *cough *ahem – give it a click y’all, you’ll hear what I’m talking about right away, the differences in this cut are something we can all notice; this diverse twist on her artistic and atmospheric sound is truly interesting.
I felt like “Wake Up” did really well with what there is and the time it had. My gut suspects that Lisa needs a bit more of an assist in some of these songs from the music supporting her – she’s got some cuts that are really sparse & minimalist in design…and even though she seems to have no problem at all rising to the challenge of being mainly alone in the spotlight, a bit more added into the mix might go a very long way in terms of the music’s overall appeal. That being said, it’s pretty hard to resist a cut like “Wake Up” when Orlando has rocked the rhythm like she does – and when it’s a method that works out, heck, she seems downright superhuman for pulling it off. Songs like “Wake Up” are a real testament to the level of skill she has, and her inherent ability to entertain with her own instincts & sparkling voice – yes there IS more to “Wake Up” than that, but not all that much – it really was up to Orlando once again to deliver if there was gonna be any chance of success for this cut to work. Don’t get me wrong, she’s makin’ the magic happen, but that IS a lot of pressure…obviously she thrives in that element, but there’s still the question about whether or not a lil’ more happening in the music & mix might be to her benefit. What I think I loved more than anything else outside of the main hook in the chorus of “Wake Up” is the tone of the lyrics that come with it, which find Lisa at one of her most empowered moments…an audible refusal to settle for anything less than what she deserves. Like so many of us – we audition a few folks for that role, you feel me? Sometimes they work out, more often than not they don’t – the important thing is to be able to “Wake Up” and recognize the difference – and even more important to confidently walk away from anything in life that tries to sell you short on what you’re worth. It’s an inspired anthem all said & done – “Wake Up” is a grounded cut that confirms Lisa is a genuine force to be reckoned with.
“Last Night Of My Life” was an excellent way to sum up so much of what I’ve learned about Lisa Orlando and end the album on an up-tempo & upbeat vibe that completely suits the person she is today after all she’s been through to be here now. A track that’s pretty much dedicated to the moment…the idea of just turning up the music and dancing the night away like the moment is everything – because that’s truly all there ever is. I don’t need to explain that to Lisa – she’s already learned one of the most valuable lessons we can ever be taught, and the existence of this very song…this whole record…I mean – it completely proves that she’s putting the knowledge to work along with her talent, and going after her dream of making music with everything she’s got. And rightly so! Lisa’s displayed a remarkable skillset of talents all throughout Last Night Of My Life – so much so, that the majority of the time I was listening I’d completely forget I was checking out her debut record and not her fifth one in, you dig? To have a debut like this that reveals so many incredible building blocks for her to create an empire out of…like – let’s be real here – Lisa’s in great shape for the future to follow with a verifiable career ahead of her. “Last Night Of My Life” was a fantastic highlight to find at the very end of the album…some of the things she’s done with her vocals here through the mix, production, and her performance combined are seriously all-out spectacular…some of what she’s doing in the background vocals will make for the most memorable moments of this final cut, which in itself is impressive considering how much vibrant sound & Electro-based awesomeness is happenin’ around those spots. Lisa’s lit up the fireworks for the finale – which, if you’re listening to the sentiment & the words, makes completely perfect sense. Like I said, it’s all about the moment – and clearly, she was determined to make this one count. This debut record is a significant step forward and milestone in her career that’s bound to open all kinds of doors of opportunity to follow…Orlando should be proud of what she’s created on Last Night Of My Life; she’s got the talent & determination it takes to achieve anything she sets her mind to – I can promise ya that. If you’re the betting type, I’d put your chips all-in on Lisa Orlando finding her way to number one over these next years to come – she’s got material on her debut that might very well take her there already, but mark my words…she’s gonna get better & better as she continues on & takes over the nation, 100%.
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