Lindsey Stirling attempts to become mainstream, aides violin technique in process


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6a214b0cf5a8dd6bde9de677310edc48.600x600x1Released in the US on Apr. 29, violinist Lindsey Stirling’s second studio album Shatter Me allows listeners to practice their dance moves in their living room, while showing off the raw complexity and focus of her string skills that are undoubtedly present on her self titled debut album.
Although this is the first album of Stirling’s that includes guest singers, about three fourths of the songs are as dance oriented as the ones on her previous album. Even her single for the album is framed around the goal of reaching the Billboard Top 200 charts through the clear focus on the electronic music, buying into the marketing ploy of layered dance remixes that seem to lack meaning. However, the underlying message is evident through the violin solos and lyrics.
In the fourth song called “Shatter Me”, guest singer Lzzy Hale belts out meaningful lines such as, “If only the clockwork could speak/I wouldn’t be so alone/We burn every magnet and spring/And spiral into the unknown.” While these lyrics hold water due to Stirling’s past battle with anorexia, the piece symbolizes her ability to break her boundaries. The overwhelming sounds of layered, dubstep-like tones–and consistent yelling from Hale in the chorus of the song–tear the meaning to shreds until they bring it to life again in the verses through their composure. The rest of the album has certainly grown in terms of having a progressive feel to it. The album starts full of energy and anger with quick violin jerks and overpowering dance music to fill the void that does not exist.
Later in the album, the tone shifts to more of a singer-songwriter vibe with the dance music only used as support for Stirling’s violin methods. This could quite possibly be a part of her plan to become more mainstream, as independent music is catching the ears of many in this generation. In “We Are Giants”, featuring folk singer Dia Frampton, the song does a wonderful job using both musicians’ skills hand-in-hand to create not only a tune that could be played at a high school dance, but also one that those hipsters in Portland could rock out to as well.
Also, the construction of “We Are Giants” largely differs from that of “Shatter Me”. While “Shatter Me” allows Hale to be at the center of attention during the verses, “We Are Giants” has a repetitive chorus, making Frampton step aside to give Stirling the solo. This way of fitting the musical pieces into the song works well on the listeners’ ears, shocking them all over again with Stirling’s talent. This paragraph is a good example of concise with strong word choice.
In “We Are Giants”, the audience can connect the theme of the album to its core, by relating it back to “Shatter Me”. Frampton’s lines string along the listeners’ ear with phrases like, “Raise your flag; let your voice be heard/Put your heart into every word you say/All your failures a cornerstone/Build a house with the things you’ve thrown away.”
While it may seem unoriginal to make the title of the album the same as one of the songs on it–especially when that song is one of the singles released in its mark–the reasoning behind Stirling’s decision may be more than a marketing scheme. Due to her troubled past, Stirling may be preaching her determination to survive through it all, which is what “Shatter Me” addresses. As Shatter Me gets more progressive, so does the listeners’ interpretation of Stirling’s personality, something she clearly put into the heart of the album through her strong, but not quite overbearing, violin solos.
After listening to the album all of the way through, the audience can feel a sense of enlightenment and a raw desire to accomplish anything that, in every piece. In the end, this leaves them satisfied.

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Lindsey Stirling attempts to become mainstream, aides violin technique in process