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Reviews "Bitter Tears"

Ella Blame is one of the most difficult to define artists I’ve listened to in a while. Just when you think you’re flying on a magic carpet you’re in that Jamiroquai video where the floor moves; halfway between a silvery Christmas jingle and a snowy coke dream. Whimsical as all hell, Blame’s Bitter Tears album is an over-the-rainbow collection of electronic and ambient tracks bordering on the psychedelic and the ethereal. With a handful of international collaborators, the album has a variety of sounds and instruments ranging from Indian flutes to Celtic folk all generously sprinkled in Blame’s pixie dust. Her highly robotic yet strangely sweet voice goes in and out throughout the album with operatic presence. – Alexandra Kain, Dig This Real, Issue 14

Imagine a cross between Laurie Anderson and Bjork and you’re not far from the voice of Ella Blame… Siouxsie Sioux and Happy Rhodes are others who come to mind, although Blame is difficult to pin down…Blame’s delivery is intimate, beguiling, and sometimes a tad scary (that’s what makes it fun). The overall musicianship on Bitter Tears is mesmerizing in a weird way, underscoring the strengths of a strange and unique voice. Not quite goth, not a cabaret vamp, but somewhere in between. -- Mark Newman, Progression Magazine, Issue 55

Ella Blame continues to make edgy yet accessible music. She's still a strong presence vocally and is not afraid of experimenting. The densely throbbing "Cyberlover" is stuff to be proud of. Blame is not one to take an easy way out when she can throw a curveball. The spooky "Incurable" tiptoes delicately round its melody like Björk can do. "Bitter Tears" is haunted and dramatic, and Blame's acrobatic vocals don't let it down. It's another song that would easily fail in less assured hands. The closing "Hymn of Goodbye" is a suitable song to end the album. It's almost celestial and sweet, Blame's vocals angelic. -- Anna Maria Stjärnell, the Ectophiles' Guide

Ella's voice is the song of a maddened siren, not luring you into the rocks but warning you of them. The music offers little hope in avoiding collision, but since the songs are so pleasurable, the seemingly inevitable impact can't seem all that bad. Unlike most "dark" music, where the sources of unease come from obvious places like a driving rhythm section, a screaming harpy or a sinister-toned guitar, on "Bitter Tears" the brightly lit kaleidoscopic funhouse of sound delivers in swirling unexpected twists and distorted mirrors. Sometimes it's as if Nino Rota dropped some acid and collaborated with Robin Guthrie. But "Bitter Tears" is NOT all weirdness and strange. There are moments on here where your OWN tears threaten to fall, NOT from bitterness, but from the sheer beauty of Ella's voice and the songs themselves. The melody, and the floating vibrations of "Slippery Slope" and "Bit For Bit" are spiritually arresting, like a cosmic, karmic backrub. In these songs Ella offers you her warm hand and smiles along the journey. It's one you'll want to take with her again and again. I HIGHLY recommend this album! In fact, buy one or two for some friends. They'll love you for it. -- Desmond Ambrose

Ella Blame comes from a different place entirely. She's one of the most original musicians I've ever heard. Honestly, listening to her CD Baby clips will give you a better impression than I can explain in words…Her performance on "Bitter Tears" (from her 2008 album of the same name) sounds like Sarah Brightman on two different kinds of acid, and when Sarah announced that her next record was going to piss off her record label, I hoped it'd sound a lot more like this. You've got drama already from the title and strings, and then those vocals come in, processed into the uncanny valley, operatic and brassy and commanding. The music has plenty of twists, of course, but this song's all about the singing…These don't even begin to sum her music up, though, so again, just go to CD Baby and listen. I sound like a shill and I guess, in this case, I am. This is worth it though. -- Sarah Morayati @ Self as Fractal

Bitter Tears definitely stands on its own as an album worth listening to and taken seriously. -- Darryl Gregory, Indie-Music

Right from the first song "Cyberlover" you will feel like you entered a hidden territory where there is a lot to discover...Her new CD "Bitter Tears" has 11 songs and each and everyone of them can easily be your most favorite one. Listening to Ella is like being in a big mansion, each song opens up the door to a different room... with different colors, different decorations, different time frames. By the time the CD is over you ask yourself "Where was I just now?" ... that is if you think you are back... -- Hande Burdg, TheProgFiles

Some say that it's possible for anyone to release one good album, now Ella Blame proves that she's more that an easily forgotten one-time newcomer and that she deserves to be considered a true artist in her own fashion... Ella has gained some maturity and "Bitter Tears" is even better, if possible, than its predecessor... Don't hesitate one second and get "Bitter Tears", it is the work of an achieved artist with her own, very personal universe. -- Shaomi

I absolutely cannot say enough about this talented young lady and her new Album/CD. Bitter Tears is sexy, soulfully tasteful, bitterly sweet, playful and genius. I find myself 'transfixed' when listening to her voice. To put it in to two descriptive words: "Sadece güzel" (Simply beautiful). -- dj Rimzi

Beautiful Haunting Unusual Music - I've been meaning to write this review for a long time now. Ella Blame is an amazing artist whose lyrics have a deep meaning and whose unique voice gives me goosebumps. Buy this album and kick it up a notch in your life, you won't be disappointed with this musical art! It will move your soul and your spirit. -- Mary Lou Springstead

Fans of free-form electronica and improvisation are going to eat this up; likewise fans of Kate Bush or other ethereal-voiced artists. The other comparison that comes to mind is Milla Jovovich, who has played around in similar musical genres and has a similarly unique voice. Give Ella Blame a listen. It will be hit or miss, but I promise you. If it hits you you'll be thanking me... -- Wildy Haskell

The second album "Bitter Tears" shows a more introverted side of Ella, the songs tend more towards ballads - but with a sting. The lyrics dive deep into the emotions that come with infatuation, saying goodbye, disappointment, grief and being empowered….All 11 songs are gems. I couldn’t pick a favorite... -- Thon Huijser

Ella Blame has a lot to offer. Collaborating with different electronic artists to create her ambient, natural sounding, distinct melodies, Ella's vocals bleed perfectly into the instrumentation. It's almost as if Bjork met the Medieval Times met electronic music… -- Ben Meredith, URB Magazine

Review "Bitter Tears" by Alexandra Kain - Dig This Real, Issue 1

Bitter Tears Review by Alexandria Kain

Reviews "Ineffable Desire"

This CD should have a warning label: "May induce a state of altered consciousness with distorted perceptions of space and time. Do not drive or operate machinery while listening to this music." Ella Blame's Ineffable Desire grabs you by the synapses and delivers an endless stream of audio stimuli that completely dominate your attention. This is music you don't simply listen to - you experience it... Ella Blame is innovative, perhaps ahead of her time. But the day will come when this music is the pop music of a new generation, and Ineffable Desire will likely be held up as the seminal album of the genre. -- Kenny Hart, Indie-Music

Ineffable Desire, though, is full of blood and soul. And madness. Off-kilter, 4:00 A.M. raw, dark-night-of-the-soul madness. The CD cover with an outlandish ray of light beaming out of one of Ella's eyes conveys all of this... Her voice, the heart and soul of the record, is the first thing that boggles the mind. Many of the songs have her voice covering almost her full range (she covers low middle and high registers with bull's-eye accuracy). The madness comes from fear, confronting death, life intensity, longing itself, frustrated desire. Ineffable desire... You have been warned. -- Mark Kirby, MusicDish

Imagine being lost...
inside of a cage you have created for yourself only within your mind...
There are times when no one or nothing can leak inside...
I have been blessed by a dear friend who has given me a gift in which I never expected...
the music of Ella Blame! Her music not only leaks into your mind, she INVADES it...leaving you saturated and mesmerized.
I find my words are inadequate
as listening to her voice removes one from reality
into this hypnotic and mystical realm
of so many emotions and thoughts we keep secret...
it's as if Ella has always known.
I hear traces of billie holiday and portishead,
but when she opens her mouth
the liquid sounds that escape create the most brilliant colours in your mind.
Never before have I heard anything so desirable and unique.
Ineffable Desire is the most haunting album I have heard in years.
It drips with passion and intensity.
I find myself unable to pick a favourite track off this album as they are all stunning.
'swamp of lead' is my current favourite.
Being impressed greatly by this album is an understatement.
-- Heather King

Vocally, Ella Blame has incredible range. Here, she's like Loreena McKennit with balls; there, she's like Cocteau Twins with comprehensible lyrics; and there, she's like Sinead O'Connor with a satanic twist. The song styles likewise range from fun and upbeat, to brooding and downtempo, to downright intimidating. In short, Ella Blame is one of those incredibly rare artists who is unique and listenable... I advise you to just go to CDbaby and listen to the samples for yourselves. And then purchase "Ineffable Desire", and support this unique artist. -- Gregg (DJ Arhythmius)

Then, in the frenetic "Thought Control" and the experimental "Another Side," both with music by guest collaborator Shinji Imai, Blame shows off the baritone end of her huge range, along with her hisses and moans and piercing high notes. She unveils a fluttery soprano for the spooky, deceptively simple ballad "I Can't Sleep." In fact, it wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that Blame's voice is to a normal person's voice as Robert Patrick's shape-shifting Terminator was to the stolidly anthropomorphic Schwartzenegger model... -- Jon Sobel, BlogCritics

Do not try to figure out how she is doing it all without trickery. She can. Did she meet a man at the crossroads? We don't know, and we don't even care. It's cozmik, it's primal, it's nothing you've ever heard before...and you'll find the tunes wrapping around your brain like a wasp in a wicked mood. There is but the one, Ella Blame. So buy it. Treasure it. Turn all of your hippest friends on to it...but, there will never be any chance you will soon forget it. 5*****'s! -- Tim Chiavaroli

The witchy "Thought Control" is somewhat like Nina Hagen gone dance. "Dance with me (Temple Mix)" is scary and haunted rather than danceable. It's very suggestive and might have been recorded by Delerium. "Violent Silence" is an unusual song with an extraordinary vocal. So, it's a challenging and different debut this. -- Anna Maria Stjärnell, Ectophile's Guide

Ella Blame's "Ineffable Desire" project is a diverse work of quirky alternative pop, married to a psychoactive brew of alien ambiance & atonal electronic-industrial trip hop. In the signature cut "Ineffable Desire", one is witness to the ghostly elements that are intrinsic to Ella Blame music. Together with the cuts like "How Things Have Changed" it becomes evident that the musical carnival of Ella Blame incorporates minor cadence structure, coupled with half tone Vocal lines that are unique in design & otherworldly atmospherics. ... Where the music is taken from here is an enigma. Suffice it to say that Ella Blame's musical vision is unlike anything one has previously partaken of & this in itself makes the music all the more fascinating & mood altering. -- United Global Artists

It made me listen a little differently than I normally would and it caused me to change my thoughts as to what is mainstream and what may not be. As a matter of fact, when I decided to be open minded I heard so much more than I did the first time through. Ella’s vocal range is so incredible! The things she can make her ‘instrument’ do is reason enough to get this disc! -- Jen Lush, MidwestBands

This is a highly addictive, ear-catching album!... It's different, but different in the best possible way. I like every beat, vocal track, sound, feel and emotion this album gives off. It just glows in uniqueness and perfection, you couldn't possibly ask for anything better than this, at least for this style of music. -- Wednesday Elektra, Space Junkies Magazine

Ella Blame hits us Like a Faerie in the Middle of a Dark forest. She Intrigues our Musical desires, and she keeps us Wandering back for More. We’d love to see her Live but we’ll have to Settle for her CD for now. You should, too. -- Mike Perazzetti, The Fevered Brain of RadioMike

Electronica that beckons to unite Portishead with downtempo goddesses that are often nameless despite repeated spins in nightclubs. Abstract yet enticing and outrageously sexy, Ella Blame adds some extraordinary vocal elements to the dance mix. Decidedly ethereal like so many of the downtempo goddesses wish they could capture. -- J-Sin, Smother Magazine

I have been waiting to hear the release of Ineffable Desire for quite some time. I originally became interested in Ella Blame after hearing the track called How Things Have Changed (which is on Ineffable Desire). Although that remains my favorite track the rest of the cd is well composed and the vocals are one of a kind excellence. This work is really unique and hard to compare but I would say if you like the Cocteau Twins or just great female vocals with cool beats then check this one out. -- Chris Odell

Other Reviews

I have only just touched base with this avant-garde multi-talented lady from Wisconsin with a most amazing vocal range. There is something quite unique and mesmerising in her, both musically and vocally. -- Mark Thorpe, BIYL


Ella Blame is a Milwaukee-based vocalist and composer who works primarily in experimental and avant-garde art-song and avant-pop. Possessing a jaw-dropping range, classical and pop chops, and an artistic vision that hasn’t seen the light of day since Nico’s albums in the 1970’s, Blame creates a musical tapestry that is at once hypnotic, alluring and nightmarish. Dropping octaves, pear-shaped vowels at high registers, sotto voce whispers in the basement, low to super-low belting are just a few examples of what you’ll find in an Ella Blame song. A performer to watch and a legend when her prime arrives! -- Scott Mayfield, Crossfade Grimoire, Issue 4.2


Ella Blame’s music is very hypnotic; it takes your mind places that you never knew existed. Her voice has a calming effect in some of her songs and in others it sends a chill down your spine. If you listen to her songs, turn off the lights and anything that makes background noise and just relax and listen. Clear your mind. I have listened to her songs for 3 days before I wrote this review; it feels as though it has brought an inner peace to me. I turn off the lights, all other background noise and just close my eyes. There is serenity to Ella’s voice and tranquility to the accompanying music. Take the time to listen to her music, it is worth it. -- Jeff Dame, northeastintune

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