Boomkat Product Review:
To most Mia Doi Todd will be best known for her Manzanita album on Plug Research a couple of years ago, but believe it or not, Gea is the LA songwriter's seventh full-length release. The release has been produced with Carlos Nino of Ammon Contact/Hu Vibrational/Build An Ark and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, with input from Todd herself. While the album focuses on the dynamic interplay between voice and acoustic guitar, there are some hugely effective arrangements helping to carve a defined narrative across the album, with floating, jazzy strings giving pieces like 'Night Of A Thousand Kisses' and 'Sleepless Nights' a cinematic scope. Todd's Latin American influence manifests itself in ways beyond the purely linguistic, with a triptych of songs at the heart of the album ('Esperar Es Caro', 'Kokoro' and 'Can I Borrow You?') taking on a distinctive South American rhythmic makeup. This spills out into the way percussion is dealt with more generally on the album, with the woody resonance of hand-played drums on 'Wolf Reprise' taking on a dark, echoing quality. Gea is best taken in terms of an album as a whole rather than on a track-by-track basis. You'd have a job really singling out any one track as being markedly more impressive than any other, it's more a work that owes what success it has to its cumulative effect.