Californian pizzazz and Eagles-inspired zest
Harrison Smith
16:31 13th January 2021

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Right now, there’s a longing for better days. A yearning for a more carefree time where things weren’t so loud and the sun was shining. So, with this in mind; it’s rather fortunate that Pearl Charles’ new album Magic Mirror has dropped when it has. With its Californian pizzazz and Eagles-inspired zest, we are taken on a trip back in time to the days when Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours ruled the charts and psychedelica was all the rage. 

Opening with ‘Only For Tonight’, an ABBA like composition, Charles touches on the euphoria of one night romances and their seesawing nature. "Woke up saying / never again / it’s the last time / until I see you again". It’s refreshing in its honesty and seemingly autobiographical construction. This is a needed dose of cheerful escapism. Charles tends not to fixate on the bigger world issues too much, allowing herself to look a little more inward, often mulling over everyday goings-on. 

Reflection seems to also be a prominent theme of the record. On the single ‘Imposter’, a smooth Smokey Robinson sounding lament on one's own identity, Charles ponders on the avoidance of sitting with one's insecurities: "Never look into the mirror / they always say that’s your first mistake". The title track, a beautiful piano driven ballad finds Charles seeking a greater understanding of herself and the world around her: "My whole world’s trapped inside the looking glass / I’m just trying to find my way out". On ‘Slipping Away’, the real earworm of the album, the dilemma of relationship sluggishness is tackled and Charles, still considering such feelings, dishes up a smooth vocal line loaded with optimism and hope. 

With warm reminiscence brimming from all angles, Pearl Charles’ sentimental examination of the past masterfully combines romantic and personal observations, often contemplating modern tribulations and circumstances. Magic Mirror, in its breezy arrangement, pays homage to an abundance of nostalgic memories whilst staying firmly rooted in the here and now. 

There’s an exhilarating individuality to her as an artist, paving the way for a myriad of musical avenues. What’s next for Pearl Charles is anyone's guess at this point! 

Magic Mirror arrives 15 January via Kanine Records.

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Photo: Press