I couldn’t tell you the moment I discovered Liza Anne. All I know is life is now split into two eras: Before Liza and After Liza. In fact, I no longer remember who I was before listening to this album. I just know who I am now and it’s all because of Liza Anne.
All this is, of course, to say that this album resonated with me in a deep way. While a lot of this album is relationship-based, it also delves a lot into anxiety and how it feels to be affected by it. Liza’s vocals are light, yet emotive. The music a chorus of guitar. This is alternative at its finest. Though Liza began her career as a singer/songwriter, she’s managed to expand on that. Musically, she’s the best she’s ever been. If you’ve never heard her music before, let this review be the impetus that changes that. And now, here’s a track-by-track review of Liza Anne’s musical peak, Fine But Dying:
- Paranoia: This drum-heavy opening track set the tone for the album. Equal parts heavy and flowing, this song chronicles Liza’s fear that her significant other thinks she doesn’t live up to previous lovers. What makes the song interesting is that Liza has no proof her lover feels this way— it’s her anxiety telling her that they do. What’s more, she’s aware of this. And yet she still can’t shake this feeling. As relatable as it is great, this song is one of my favorites.
- Small Talks: For a song that feels happy, the subject matter sure is depressing. At least, in that trapped, vaguely apathetic manner adults feel casually depressed. The entire song echoes something I’ve always felt— small talk is pointless and means nothing. I’ve always hated small talk. Maybe it’s my introversion, but I only see the point in conversing when you have something to say. Obviously, seeing how deeply I related to the sentiment expressed, this is another favorite.
- Panic Attack: This song is utterly haunting. It lives in the minor key and both depicts and feels like an anxiety attack. Once again, I relate deeply. However, the part I find most impactful is the repeated mantra at the end: “Think slowly/Try to remember I’m alive/My body is here/And I am inside.” She starts this chant desperate and shaky, slowly becoming more insistent, until finally it becomes a calm reality. This song was an immediate favorite.
- Socks: This song is by far the fuzziest on the album, despite depicting a relationship that’s nearly run its course. The spark is gone, and yet Liza isn’t ready to move on. Even so, you can hear the Liza’s grin as she croons out the chorus. It’s a cute track, very soft and warm. Of all the songs on this album, this one is easily the most sentimental.
- Closest to Me: The closest this album has to a ballad, this song is as lost as it is self-aware. Liza is aware of her tendency to hurt the people she’s closest to, but doesn’t know how to stop. All she can do is acknowledge and apologize. As someone who’s been there, I can relate. The song has an almost dreamlike quality, the kind of nightmare similar to a Stepford existence. A cheery whistle closes out the song, solidifying that notion. It was another fast favorite.
- Turn for the Worse: This song finds Liza and her significant other at an impasse, having been arguing late at night. The solution she poses is to sleep on it and work things out in the morning. Despite being the opposite of what most people advise, Liza admits the late hour and alcohol bring out an ugly side to her. But the best part of the song is the extended instrumental at the end. It’s thundering and emotive, a musical representation of their fight. In this manner, it’s the most metaphorical on the album.
- Kid Gloves: This low key song finds Liza assuring her lover that they don’t need to be gentle with her. It’s a calming sort of assurance, her light voice gliding over the instrumentation. Life has made her stronger and she wants to be treated as such. A relatable notion, to be sure.
- Control: In the truest sense, this song is a poem put to music. It doesn’t utilize the repeated verse/chorus structure. The track is about feeling desperately alone and believing nobody could love you. And yet, you still want someone. Talk about a familiar punch in the gut. I know this feeling well. It’s the most unique and relatable track on the album, so obviously it’s another favorite.
- Get By: This song is the darker counterpart to “Socks,” a recounting of a relationship that’s gone cold. Liza doesn’t want to just go through the motions with her lover, but that’s all they’re able to do anymore. The line “Distract ourselves into thinking we make sense” is chanted in a haunting wave. While “Socks” didn’t quite do it for me, this song is one of my favorites.
- I Love You, But I Need Another Year: This song explores a fear of commitment and a struggling relationship between two people who maybe shouldn’t be together. Liza loves her partner, but isn’t ready to fully commit given both their issues. The desire to put off committing speaks to the fact that they’re probably not ever going to become more than they are. It’s an interesting dynamic that makes for a thought-provoking song.
- I’m Tired, You’re Lonely: This song is both the closing track and the saddest one on the album. Liza finally accepts what she couldn’t before— she and her partner can’t be what the other needs. The two are at an end as a couple, as Liza’s woeful tone confirms. However, as sad as it is, it’s also the most positive track on the album. She’s finally taking action and doing something she needs instead of lying to herself. In that way, it’s not only the saddest track on the album, but the most empowering.
If you’re any sort of alternative fan, Liza Anne is an artist you need to give a chance. If you suffer from anxiety, this album will make you feel a little less alone. Though this album isn’t a game changer, it is a giant step in the right direction for Liza Anne’s career. As for me, I’ll be keeping this album in my rotation for a long time to come.