Tuesday, November 28, 2000 Volume 66, Issue 69



Lahna Turner turns folk music into whiny, needy manifesto

Lahna Turner

Life As A Human
Eye Candy Records


By Kristin Buchanan
Daily Cougar Staff

Blatant stupidity has a new face: Lahna Turner.

Don't let the air-brushed photos on the cover or the blue leopard-print graphics on the CD fool you -- Turner is not nearly as cool as the image she tries to maintain. Her music reflects ideology that women have tried to overcome for decades.

Life As A Human should be renamed Life As A Half-Wit.

On paper, the concept for her album is pretty good: world-conscious folk music integrating xylophone, whistles, sitar and diggerydoo. She even includes pictures from India featuring a camel fair in Rajasthan, a boy working in the field and a beggar holding up a metal cup.

Being aware of other cultures in music is a good thing; producing noise pollution and trying to pass it off as music is not. Turner gives whiny folk music a bad name.

The lyrics in "Cloudy Blue Skies" reflect the pathetic dependence on men that Turner subjects herself. She sings, "(He) had an affair/ But I couldn't care/ 'Cause he looks after me."

Lahna Turner releases Life as a Human, an album focusing mainly on relationships.

Photo courtesy of 
Eye Candy Records

The song's protagonist would rather be in a relationship with someone who cheats on her than be alone. The word that comes to mind here: "pitiful."

"1000 Men," testifies that 1,000 men couldn't take her away from her love. This song sounds like Mazzy Star under the influence of a massive amount of narcotics. The message behind this song is one of weakness and obsession.

Songs like "Yin Yang" are proof that there are some notes Turner should simply not sing. She seems oblivious to the fact that she is not a soprano. She repeatedly sings high notes with a vocal tone that could be compared to nails on a chalkboard.

Lyrics like, "I'm just down here waiting for the Yin to match my Yang," describe her endless search for love. Perhaps she's pursuing it so fervently that she seems to be scaring men off.

Life as a Human reveals that Turner is an idealist and a dreamer who needs to awaken to the reality that she has a disturbing addiction to relationships.

The folk song story-telling tradition finally comes to life in "Betty." Unfortunately, this story has no plot. The song is about a woman who divorces her unappreciative husband and starts a new life in the South.

In "Trapeze Artist Man," Turner makes a valiant attempt at being deep. The song starts off with a drum roll, then blasts off with annoying circus music that is interwoven with Turner's mewling voice.

She sings about how she made her way through all the men in the circus, then found love with a trapeze artist. The metaphor is fully manifested when the trapeze artist drops her, symbolizing the end of their relationship.

"Walking," is the best song on the album because it only offers 1.4 seconds of torture. "Walking" is an a capella gospel song that includes harmonization with an off-key alto.

Even though most of Life as a Human is innovative, Turner attempts to ride the wave of a big trend on the bonus track, "Daggers."

This song has a harder edge than the rest of the album and includes syncopation and vocal effects. There's even a rap solo from Little Baller. This track was quite an effort, but it doesn't work.

Even though the music is annoying and the lyrics are poorly written, Turner is a good little hostess. She kindly serves up a fine whine to accompany all the cheese on her album.

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