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June 20, 2024

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Magdalen Hsu-Li
Fire (Chick Pop Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Led by the piano playing of Magdalen Hsu-Li, and fleshed out by guitars and drums, Fire is a world-weary, wise-beyond-its-years pop record of magnificent beauty. The melodies are sharp and compelling, the hooks subtle but far reaching, and the lyricism unlike any other poetry. Hsu-Li has an untold fire burning in her as she exerts her own demons and untangles herself from her past, trying to forge ahead with song, using her anger, sorrow, helplessness and, most importantly, her love to conquer all that is in her way as she speaks from the heart. Writing lullabies for her listeners in the process, Fire becomes the outspoken, words-to-live-by testament to the power of love and the beauty of life, encompassed by soothing and unsettling melodies that make more than an impact after you listen to them. I'll give it a B+.
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