Electronica often has the reputation of being high-tempo with annoyingly distractive beats and the pop genre is characterized by repetitively playing the same boring three chords. Yet of Verona finds an immaculate balance between the two that is still lively and pleasurable, while eliminating the sugary bubblegum rubbish that currently pollutes the airwaves and still maintaining a uniqueness and independence. The combination of lead vocalist and songwriter Mandi Perkins’s sultry, smoky voice with the flamboyantly layered instrumentation is a recipe for uncompromising brilliance.
Perkins’s raspy, powerhouse vocals transforms her darkly poetic lyrics into an unyielding flood of real, raw emotion. Her impeccable delivery in “Raining” is strong and full of conviction as she croons, “Don’t wanna be here right now/ Don’t want you to see me crying/ Don’t wanna feel this/ Don’t wanna feel this right now.” The exposure of the lyrics combined with the piano arrangement and shallow percussion keeps the song appealing and accessible.
While “Raining” is ethereal and haunting, “Dark In My Imagination” brings an intense heaviness and industrial sound reminiscent of early Filter and Nine Inch Nails. Perkins’s poetic, heartfelt songwriting reveals the battle of the constant onslaught of personal demons attempting to ravage her fragile sanity. It is a tantalizing peek at her vulnerability that grows with each song and becomes an invariable obsession.
Each track is an engaging imagination of what today’s music could and should be. While every song is distinctly of Verona, there is no point during the nearly hour-long album where it feels repetitive or stale. This is a must-buy album; a potential blockbuster that should be a candidate for top album honors in 2012.