With her recognizable blonde locks and delicate yet powerful voice, Liv Kristine has been sloughing it out in the Metal community for over 15 years, first as the “beauty” part of THEATER OF TRAGEDY, then later (and currently) as vocalist in LEAVE’S EYES and ATROCITY. However, in her solo outings, Kristine lets her softer, Pop-oriented side loose, with songs that would not have sounded at all out of place in 1990s American top 40 radio.
From the get-go with the title track, it’s clear that the listener is in for something different than he/she is used to hearing from Kristine. There are still guitars/bass/drum, but the everything is brought to lighter, simpler level, with an emphasis on Pop-structures and catchy hooks. Of interest though are the occasional Folk-inspired parts (hear “Twofold” or “”Life Line” for examples), which brings to mind some of the more somber moments of LEAVE’S EYES.
But of course the centerpiece on “Skintight” is Kristine’s voice, which is immediately identifiable, albeit sounding even more vulnerable than normal. Undoubtedly at her best on the aforementioned Folk-tinged tracks, Kristine’s whimsical style sounds out of place on the more up tempo/upbeat songs. In other words, she doesn’t have a Pop voice, so the more Pop-oriented songs seem a little off.
If not for Kristine’s long-standing tenure in the Metal community, “Skintight” would have absolutely no place on The Metal Observer. As it is, though, her stature allows for such departures, whether for better or for worse. From a Metal perspective “Skintight” is definitely for the worse, but big fans of Liv Kristine’s voice will find a few positives within.
(Online December 17, 2010)