Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

LÉON proves the third time’s the charm on triumphant Circles

"Circles"

Release date: 04 March 2022
7/10
LEON Circles Hi Res
11 March 2022, 06:47 Written by Ryan Reichard
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Across the album’s title track, LÉON sings: “Here comes the shame / That empty feeling, what if darling, I can’t change.” Serving as her third album in three years and riding off the success of her previous efforts, Circles is not afraid to embrace quick change, but also not afraid to hit you where it hurts the most.

This has always been LÉON’s greatest strength as an artist, to not shy away from the vulnerability it takes to be one. On this album, she puts her vulnerability on full display and pushes herself into new territories as well. This can be seen on the track “Wishful Thinking,” which melds her signature vulnerable songwriting with tinges of acoustic guitar to infuse some country elements into the song to create a genre-bending standout.

While love remains a main theme across Circles, LÉON also takes the time and care to explore themes outside of love, such as accepting one’s self and finding comfort in her own skin. This can be seen on the track “Soaked,” where she is forced to face the fact that time does not slow down.

However, Circles additionally explores other realms like fantasies and dreams, to create an album that feels as if it were a stream of consciousness, or pages ripped straight from a diary. On “Wildest Dreams,” LÉON is forced to face the illusions of her past, as she sings: “Haunted by you / I’m haunted by my wildest dreams / Guess that’s the price you pay for being free.”

Closing track “The Beach” finds LÉON coming to terms with perhaps the greatest fear of all: letting go. Melding her signature indie pop synths with a backing gospel choir, not only does she deliver another genre defying tune, but another prime example of vulnerability at its most raw as she sings: “I have a fear of letting go / Reaching for the surface / Now I can see the shore / The strangest feeling hits me / That I’ve been here once before.”

The only real criticism comes on the song “Lift You Up,” where the song’s pounding drums make it too heavy to be the ethereal song it so desperately is trying to be. With generic subject matter, it appears as more filler than contributing to the overall theme and sound of the album, “Lift You Up” would have served better as a bonus track than as part of this project.

While LÉON has never been one to shy away from themes of love and life, it is only on Circles where she starts to embrace life’s changes and the vulnerability required for moving forward. In finding her vulnerability and exercising the freedom that comes with it, she has also found herself a career-defining record.

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