Some of you might already know how much I liked Georgia’s Nina Sublatti. And you probably also know she already released her debut album “Dare to be Nina Sublatti”, which can be found on her official YouTube channel for free (and by the way, I haven’t found a way to actually buy it yet). So, I decided to give it a listen, and share my opinion with you! To listen along with me, click here. “Dare to be Nina Sublatti” contains ten songs, five original ones and five covers, conveniently grouped together in a first half of originals and a second half of covers. Unfortunately, a quick research wasn’t able to tell me whether Nina wrote the five original songs herself or not, but anyway, they are really worth checking out.
TITLE: Dare To Be Nina Sublatti
ARTIST: Nina Sublatti (Georgia 2015)
SONGS: 10 (five originals, five covers)
PRICE: free on YouTube, not available on iTunes
The first half of the album, the original one, shows very different sides of Nina, with my favourite one clearly being number four, “Go Wrong”. Nina shows her rock sides there, with powerful guitars and drums, the latter being present throughout the first half of the album working as a “signature sound” together with her remarkable voice. These two things, voice and drums, also carry the first song on the album, “Easy”. Starting out with a dirty, awesome guitar intro, “Easy” quickly transforms into something that sounds a bit like an early version of Warrior, combining complicated and quick rhythmic patterns with big synths and an awesomely dark feeling.
The electronic sounds that are present throughout the album get their spotlight in “Fall Out Law”, a rather typical dancefloor filler, complete with hip-hop influences. It’s also the only song in the first half where the big drums Nina seems to love aren’t that present. The style definitely fits her more than the pop experiments she tried in song two and three, but I like Nina best in the rock-electro-mix she presents in “Easy”, “Go Wrong” and “Warrior”.
Talking about those pop experiments, their names are “Give Me Some Time” and “To The Empires”, and unfortunately, both lack the personality the rest of this first half has. The former is basically a generic pop ballad, spiced up with some signature big drums, while the latter is a usual pop song, but unlike “Give Me Some Time” it actually kept some of its edges. Still, I think those two are by far the weakest songs in this half of the album and have a bit of a filler feeling to me, which is a bit of a pity in an album that’s “only” a bit over half an hour.
In the covers, I only know one song of the five she chose, Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”, one of my favourite songs when it came out. Nina turned it into a spectacularly good acoustic guitar version, which I actually prefer over the original! Great use of her voice in that one. The other covers are songs by Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette, Damien Rice and a song by someone called Irakli Charkiviani, and once again they show a different side of Nina Sublatti. They use less electronic sounds than her original songs, focusing more on acoustics and Nina’s voice, which is a great approach.
The most interesting of the covers is, in my opinion, “Naiarevs” by Irakli Charkiviani (a Wikipedia search told me he was a Georgian poet and indie musician who died in 2006), which she turned into a song with a brilliant retro feeling, sounding like someone mixed music from the sixties/seventies with something I assume is Georgian folk music. The five covers don’t differ as much as the originals do, but still have their own sound, and all do a great job in showcasing the qualities of the voice of Nina, with which I definitely fell in love. Especially because for once a female artist doesn’t think she has to go to the highest heights (see what I did there?) of her range when she has such a beautiful low key.
Overall, “Dare To Be Nina Sublatti” is definitely worth a listen, even if you didn’t like “Warrior” too much, because she shows plenty of qualities she didn’t get to show on the Eurovision stage. The five original songs vary a lot in style, while the covers are more similar to each other, mainly showing off Nina’s voice. If the album was available at stores or iTunes here, I would definitely buy it. Unfortunately, it seems to be only released over YouTube, or apparently on CD in Georgia, so if anyone is around there soon, please bring me one home.