Neo-soul and trip-hop artist Anomie Belle is back with her fourth release of 2011, Machine. The opening cut, “Slither,” features soft, minimalistic drums and magical synths, which augment Belle’s strong voice. Opting for a funkier beat, “Machine” focuses on how self-absorbed people are today. Boston’s own Mr. Lif spits tight rhymes that just add an extra bit of flavor to the title track.

Anomie Belle returns to a more serene sound for “Electric Lullaby (Tapage Remix).” The intro contains light breathing, claps and feels like an outer-body experience waiting to happen. Though the direction where Anomie Belle was going with this song had me intrigued for a bit, the effects on the vocals made it seem like she was trying too hard to make it stand out. Her voice is powerful naturally and the effects are just painful to listen to.

The disappointing previous tune is redeemed by “Bodies Offering.” What truly makes it stand out is not only Belle’s voice restored to a more natural sound, but the cello. The dejected tone of the cello contrasts against the hypnotizing and catchy synth and completes the track. To close off Machine is a remix of the title track. Like most remakes, it lacks the glow of the original.

Machine started off strong but sadly lost its momentum. However, if one takes away the third track and the final one, it flows well to form a truly emotive piece of work.

In A Word: Fair

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