Review by Emily Smith
The latest single “Down To Earth Cool Chick” features a soulful, laid-back pop performance by singer-songwriter Olivia Thai.
Beginning with only strumming on the acoustic guitar and the lyrics, “I’ve never been crazy about flowers,” calling the practice “old and tired,” the listener immediately gets a sense of honesty and straightforwardness.
Olivia, who has a number of accomplishments under her belt including being crowned the winner of Taiwan Idol as well as Megastar, Usher’s worldwide talent competition proving she has what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with in this crazy music world.
Thai’s voice sounds very natural and untouched by any effects or production, making her performance seem all the more impressive throughout the track. She showcases her vocal range throughout the track, especially in the last minute of the song where she reaches her upper register. Thai is also able to evoke a lot of feeling into the song with her vocals, which establishes the down-to-earth personality she is going for.
“‘Down To Earth Cool Chick’ is all about being free to be yourself. I wrote it because I wanted to reach as many down-to-earth people as possible. I think it’s working,” comments Olivia.
The instrumentation in the track is very minimalist. The acoustic guitar, some hints of bass and piano, and some finger snaps here and there make up a bulk of the instrumentation. It’s a very authentic sound that provides space for Thai to capture the audience with her vocals and lyrics. The track doesn’t have a very lush sound itself, but it’s definitely very thought out, and shows Thai is carefully thinking about how to piece together each word and each note.
The lyrics are charming and refreshing. In an age where many pop songs can seem so extravagant, detailing grand gestures and feelings to a significant other, or focusing on the superficial parts of life, Thai’s lyrics express the importance of just having a few laughs with someone, and having “a beautiful mind” as she describes it. Throughout the track, she expresses an aversion to the superficial and materialistic aspects of relationships and life. New clothes, new shoes, diamond rings – she doesn’t really care about any of those things. “It might even be the last thing on my mind,” she sings. None of her feelings about this are a part of an act, or meant to impress anyone, either. She sings, “Trust me, I’ve always been this way,” showing she’s being real.
Overall Thai weaves the meaning of the song into the instrumentation and her vocals very well, as she creates this authentic, down-to-earth atmosphere in the piece. Her genuine cool-girl style gives off a vibe that’s easy for the listener to sit back, relax, and focus on Thai’s raw talent.
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