It's tough to figure out where Lissie Maurus' heart and sound lie. Is this singer-songwriter an Illinois-bred Midwesterner or a transplanted Californian? Is the DIY folk-pop on last year's debut EP her thing, or is it the grandiose pop on her first full-length? Unlike the sultry folk stance Lissie displayed on her Why You Runnin'
EP, producer Jacquire King brings an empire's worth of sheen to Catching a Tiger
, stripping such songs as "In Sleep" and "Cuckoo" of their grit. Histrionics are substituted for true emotions throughout, especially in the overwrought and overwordy "When I'm Alone." The best songs (particularly "Little Lovin'") are lifted straight from her warmer and more organic EP. There's plenty of time for Lissie to decide who she wants to be. Here's hoping she learns from this album's mistakes.
Chris Drabick is a music critic for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].