The Public Reviews: Lizzie – The Studio Album

By Iain Sykes, The Public Reviews

Writers: Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt
Reviewer: Iain Sykes

The Public Reviews Rating:

Lizzie Studio AlbumIt’s 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden stands accused of the brutal axe murder of her father and stepmother. That’s the lesson in sensationalist American legal history out of the way for those of us on the eastern side of the Atlantic. Fortunately, Lizzie, the rock opera concept album retelling the grizzly events needs no explaining to a British audience. The unapologetically dark, double CD grabs the listener by the throat and delivers quite a few axe blows of its own that leave you in turns exhilarated, nervous and sometimes downright scared witless.

The unapologetically dark, double CD grabs the listener by the throat and delivers quite a few axe blows of its own that leave you in turns exhilarated, nervous and sometimes downright scared witless.

Writers, Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt have produced a quite startling and atmospheric piece of work. The songs echo the punk ethos of producing historical musicals heard in shows like Spring Awaking with arrangements of thumping bass and searing hard rock guitar riffs throughout. Only occasionally does the pace let up, most notably on the American Gospel style, Watchmen for the Morning.

The cast of four vocalists are perfectly suited to this style of performance. Carrie Manalakos as Lizzie and Storm Large as her sister, Emma, head up this cast superbly, with Ryah Nixon and Carrie Cimma also shining in their respective roles.

This quirky and fresh sounding rock CD uses its musical style and the talents of the singers to produce an album that is perfect at building up the tension leading up to its climactic moments before taking the listener even higher and then plunging them headlong into a gothic punk pit of despair complete with large amounts of blood and gore. All of this combines to make Lizzie one of the most direct, powerful rock opera CDs, you’ll hear. It’s a definite must-listen.

Lizzie – The Sudio Album is available from Broadway Records

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