Her voice and it's unique sound are what made Dia Frampton a talent to be reckoned with on last years break out television show The Voice. With her trusty mentor Blake Shelton guiding her every step of the way, Dia broke out as the star of Team Shelton and made it to the finals of the innagural season. Dia would finish second to Javier Colon, but in many people's minds she was the star to come out of the group of four finalists. Her rocking rendition of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" is one of the highlights of the entire season.
Dia isn't new to the music world, and along with her sister Meg as Meg & Dia she was signed to Warner Brothers Records in 2007 before being dropped in July of 2010. The group was a part of the Warped Tour in 2006, 2007, and 2008 as well. They released their EP It's Always Stormy in Tillamook in November of 2010 and their fourth studio album Cocoon in April 2011 independently. In an effort to plug Cocoon, Dia tried out for the brand new NBC show The Voice. She never imagined she would make it as far as she did.
With Red, Frampton begins her solo career and wrote or co-wrote every track on the album while continuing to work with former bandmembers and colleagues from her pre-Voice work. For those curious about the album's title, Dia explains it with a story from her childhood:
"When I was really young, I was scared to go to my first day of school. I was crying and making a fuss and wouldn't let go of my mom's hand. I told her that nobody would like me, and that I wouldn't make any friends. My mom told me to wear red, because everyone loves and notices red and that she was sure if I wore that color, people would want to talk to me."
The album opens up with the second single, "Don't Kick The Chair." It is driven by the low end with a dirty, muddy sound complimenting Dia's special voice. It's very poppy and quirky and very enjoyable... at least until the rap by Kid Cudi comes in. The rap seems out of place and dull. It really disrupted the flow of the song.
"Isabella" starts off with a very folk sound, banjo and all, but then the beat kicks in and the song turns into more of a pop-bluegrass mix. It is pretty interesting sonically and the lyrics are even better. "The Broken Ones" was the album's lead single and has sweet percussion driving it and is strong lyrically and musically- a very enjoyable tune.
Blake Shelton joins his former mentee on the song "I Will." It's a fitting tune for them to perform together as it really focuses on the relationship they had as mentor/mentee. What is interesting to me is how well their voices work together here. The blend is quite pleasant.
The album then takes a left turn with the song "Billy The Kid." It's more of a dance/techno song that seems an odd choice for the album based on the last five tracks. U-turning back around we have "Daniel," which is more of a folk/pop song built soley on vocals and guitars. The simplicity is really attractive and this is one of my favorite tracks on the album.
"Walk Away" has a nice pop rock sound to it. I really enjoy listening to this one and Dia's voice shines in it. "Bullseye" is another tune that is just really enjoyable. One you can sit back and just relax to. The album closes out with the song "Trapeze." With a sweet vocal on top of strumming guitars and a sweet piano, the song is a nice way to close down the album.
Overall, Red is a strong debut for Dia as a solo artist. It features a lot of different music styles, but one unique and beautiful voice. Dia shows why she finished second in the competition, and probably should have won. If you enjoyed her on The Voice last season, there is no reason not to purchase this album.