Review: Petal’s ‘Magic Gone’ Rings Out Clear and True

Written by on June 20, 2018

Kiley Lotz has a voice like a bell, one that holds on to its strength and resonance even when she’s singing of knotty emotions like those that dominate her second full-length as Petal. Magic Gone opens with the anxious-musician chronicle “Better Than You,” which frames the Scranton-born songwriter’s rock-life zingers (“You stay out so late/Just to build connection/They say, ‘Hey, man you were great,'” she eye-rolls at the outset) in fuzzed-out guitars and rumbling basslines. One by one, though, the effects fall away as Lotz works what sounds like her last nerve – “God, will they love me if I am honest?” she wails over an acoustic guitar on “Carve” – while grappling with adulthood and loss.
“Stardust,” which closes out the album, is a happy ending of sorts, opening with a pillowy piano arpeggio. As Lotz slowly arrives at the realization that goodbyes can be gestures of love, an instrumental clamor rises up around her, propelling her toward wherever life might take her next.

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