We recently caught the brilliant Anni Rossi performance at The Green Building, and instantly fell in love with the talented songstress. This week, Kirsten Schofield wrote an unfortunate review for the LEO, calling Anni’s “Rockwell” the measuring stick for the worst album she had ever heard, stating that her lyrics were uninspired and pretentious. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I cannot help but feel this review is unfair and the words to Pelle Carlberg’s “Go to Hell, Ms. Rydell“ keep popping in my mind as I read it. One problem that I have with this review, and in assigning album reviews in general is that some people simply have predispositions against music. Anni plucks at her viola with a minimalist feel, and according to Kristen that is, essentially, in and of itself, pretentious. I would imagine that Kristen would be quick to dismiss many more experimental artists as pretentious such as Joanna Newsom, Deerhunter, Animal Collective among others. My problem is that minimalist does not itself mean pretentious, and I’m curious what it is, other than the minimalist nature, that makes this album pretentious. Perhaps my perception is slightly skewed after hanging out with Anni and her being the least pretentious girl you could imagine. It’s unfortunate when persons with a preconceived notion towards a genre have the ability to influence and devalue the work of artists trying to make a living.
Although listening to it [Khia’s “Gangstress”] was a terrible experience, I decided to keep the disc for future comparison; every time I’m assigned an album I think is awful, I pull out Gangstress to hear what the bottom of the barrel really sounds like. I will be trashing Gangstress. Anni Rossi’s debut album, Rockwell, is my new measuring stick. – Kirsten Schofield
In my quick opinion, Anni Rossi’s debut is a beautiful collection of quirky and witty lyrics with beautiful and intricate eccentricities over a clearly classically trained and attentive, although minimalist viola, and I expect very big things coming her way in the very near future, and that SXSW to be a true launching pad for her career.