Cristina Lizzul, the Italian-American actress turned singer, has been hard at work on her EP Percipience. With a soulful voice suited well for the R&B genre, Lizzul has real talent and has been refining her sound. The result is laid back and mellow — exactly as it should be. Unfortunately, though, Percipience feels like less of an EP than more of a collection of unfinished demos compiled with two tracks that are polished and ready for the world. Lizzul has the talent and the passion, so all of the pieces of the puzzle are there — there’s just still a piece or two missing from the box on Percipience that probably would’ve found their way to the light with a bit more time and reflection.
“Advice” featuring Ru (no, not everyone’s favorite Butch Queen), is a trippy, chill song from Cristina to Cristina, and while it manages to set the tone and hypnotic pace of Percipience, it ultimately feels like Lizzul just getting warmed up. By the second track, “Medea”, a fluid continuation of “Advice”, Lizzul has gotten out of her head and into the swing of things with a song that’s more relatable. “Medea” is angsty; Lizzul is frustrated on the track, almost ready to give up. While the 2:37 runtime of “Advice” is welcomingly short, the similar runtime of “Medea” finds the song cut short; it would’ve been great to see Lizzul expand further on her emotions on the song.
“Vibes” somewhat changes the mood, and Lizzul is at the epitome of R&B, with vocal harmonies and a snappy production that sounds like something you’d expect from Ciara. Once again, the track is cut short, and fades out once it begins to shine. Lizzul teams back up with Ru for “Here With You”, featuring an infectious chorus and a breathable runtime that allows the track to take a more conventional structure. Lizzul and Ru’s voices come together nicely as evidenced by her ad-libs on his verse. Both pop and R&B music follow certain formulas, and while it’s always nice to break the mold, it’s important to be innovative in doing so; “Here With You” is more of a standard track than the songs before it, but it’s all the better because of that fact, considering the shorter tracks felt more like snippets than finished products.
With “Windows” the momentum that Percipience had been building up for takes a dip; the track features awkward voicemail messages and an uninspired beat that lets down Lizzul’s vocal talents.
Thankfully, Percipience ends on a positive note, with “Busy” finding the perfect mix of formula, vocals and production, and lyrical quality. Despite the rest of the EP feeling like it is taking baby steps, Percipience eventually crosses the finish line with “Busy”, a satisfying moment for Lizzul as she finally perfects her sound.
Highlights: “Here With You” and “Busy”. You can purchase Percipience on iTunes. Keep up with Cristina Lizzul on her official website, Twitter, and Facebook.