You may indeed recognize that introductory paragraph as a parody of the original “Jackass” disclaimer, and rightfully be thinking to yourself, where the hell is this going? Well I’ll tell you. ALINE MAYNE was born in Brussels, Belgium and while you may not instantly recognize her name or face, you could very well have already seen her perform, as she is an established stunt-double and on-screen persona, having worked on successful shows such as “Gotham” and “Fear The Walking Dead”. Granted she does her stunts properly, unlike the lads from Jackass, but you know I love a segue.
Anyway, aside from this, her love of performance art doesn’t stop there, as she’s also incredibly accomplished in the field of music. From a young age she’s studied piano and composition, performed in various local rock bands growing up, studied classical singing and performed in a choir too. Does this mean we’re in for an operatic symphonic metal treat? Does it fuck. Aline recently released an EP by the name of “Nothing To Lose” and quite frankly, it’s my only reasoning going into this review. I mean you COULD argue my sanity but that’s long gone let’s be honest...anyway...let’s check this out.
We open up with the title track, nice and traditionally, but it's a faltering start. Her vocals are delivered in a predominantly flat, monotone style that, while giving off a subtle robotic aesthetic, come off as not so much retro but regrettable. Granted, the chorus picks up with more up-beat energy, allowing for some pretty straightforward electro-pop, but it’s as good as it gets here. Realistically there is plenty to lose truth be told...my interest for one, which would have in turn had a domino effect on my will to live had it not been for the chorus. This is not a very promising start.
Luckily the EP salvages itself next with the highlight track “Break Your Heart” and there are a variety of, not so much influences, but styles I’m picking up throughout this track. The initial pulse of the electronica alongside the basic percussion and vocal delivery reminds me of RACHEL STEVENS in ways...but with more obvious nods to modern pop acts too such as LADY GAGA or early KATY PERRY. The simplicity of this one is honestly charming; the chorus may be repetitive but the beat, rhythm and overall tone here is pleasant and in terms of delivery, this is much better. The same can be said of closing track “Suicide Love” which utilizes more of a soft drum’n’bass instrumentation which allows for an up-tempo more exciting listen, and it does close the EP on a somewhat positive note.
Sadly, the other two tracks aren’t quite as encouraging...”Spoil Me” may have slightly retro synths and another vibrant chorus, simple hooks again, but it’s very run of the mill pop music which does fall into the trap of repetition. The materialistic nature of the track, be it ironic or not, holds zero interest. “Bubble Gum Dream” then gives off more of an R’n’B chillout vibe with a hint of synth pop for essentially the most boring of the five tracks presented here. There are some forced vocals which don’t sound too pleasant towards the tracks climax, in addition to the track itself being quite lifeless. Let’s face it if you’re dreaming of bubble gum, you’re either Willy Wonka or on drugs...quite possibly both. Come to think of it a drugged up Wonka sounds a lot more entertaining.
Ultimately, Aline may be a classically trained musician and choir vocalist with all the experience in the world, but this EP doesn’t strictly do her justice. She’s gone for a marketable formula sure; I can totally understand that, the mainstream pop aesthetic will shift units, get her on more radio, TV spots, you name it, but she’s played it far too safely and sadly generically to really stand out from, well, anyone. There is potential there, this EP isn’t awful per se, but unfortunately “Nothing To Lose” lost my attention, and that bubble gum dream just burst.