Cedar + Gold
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 01:10
Tristan Prettyman wrote Cedar + Gold after her breakup with Jason Mraz. The album weaves a tender storyline that is emotive every step of the way.
It crosses a heavy beat with sweet female vocals and lots of instruments. It is artistic and emotional, but feels like it was twisted and manipulated by record executives, resulting in a pseudo-artsy album.
The meandering guitar of “I Was Gonna Marry You” (she was engaged to Mraz) chasing the violins is reminiscent of a free jazz form, but with a sexy beat and familiar melody. The bouncy banjo and happy vocals of “Quit You” give a random, yet oh-so-catchy bluegrass twang halfway into Cedar + Gold. “Bad Drug” includes a seagull soundscape, electro-mixing, and several faux-dubstep drops—and it feels more like a soundscape than a straight song. The mainstream guitar-drums-bass tune “Come Clean” makes for the strongest song she has to offer, or perhaps it’s the Katy Perry meets Taylor Swift sound-alike track “When You Come Down.”
Cedar + Gold feels like a collaboration between a group of very talented musicians—but musicians far too diverse for their own good. The vocals are smooth and emotional. The instruments are played and mixed skillfully. But musicians just cannot have an experimental soundscape on the same album as a happy-go-lucky bluegrass tune, next to a Florence + the Machine wannabe track and heavy bass over half of it. Cedar + Gold is a tender story with pretty melodies, but that doesn’t make up for its scattered-ness.