Review: Wild Belle – Isles
National Music Reviews
Wild Belle = Bob Marley & The Wailers + Tricky + Donny and Marie
With an interesting mash-up of eclectic styles—including trip hop, reggae and ska—siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman’s debut is equally unique. Possessing a voice reminiscent of Lily Allen—with little trace of her American heritage, quite the feat—Natalie’s style takes nearly a whole song to get accustomed to, but when you do, it starts to enchant. Elliot builds a nice wave (as opposed to “wall”) of Afrobeat sound—and even showcases a pleasant vocal of his own on a few tracks, including the Jamaican smooth jam “Love Like This,” and then takes the lead on the great “When It’s Over.” The duo’s synths and subtle samples help to update their sound, like on their magnetic debut, single/album opener “Keep You.” The breezy vibe of “June” (a tribute to their late mother) almost negates their heaviest lyrics, but “Take Me Away” balances matters with an upbeat hope.