November 3, 2020

Orianthi aka Orianthi Penny Pangaris is an Australian musician, singer and song writer and she has steadily been building up a rather formidable reputation over the last few years especially so as a guitarist and it is great to see just how many women are now breaking through and proving that rock guitar is not the exclusive domain of the male of the species.

Photo: Patrick Rivera

Orianthi had a hit single According To You (from her 2009 album Believe) which brought acclaim and musical recognition from a number of artists including Michael Jackson and Alice Cooper and she has also been quick to use the new media platforms to help her in her quest to conquer the world.

The publicity mentions millions of hits on TikTok and viral trends but this is best ledt to the under 30’s! Elle magazine, (not something I read!) has named Orianthi one of the greatest ever female electric guitarist which is probably good but I doubt many guitarists read Elle. In all seriousness, Gibson Guitars has recognised her abilities and so has Guitar International and they have real kudos.

Orianthi is now a platinum selling artist and recognised globally for her guitar skills which makes this new album long overdue and O is her first album for seven years. Orianthi sings and plays guitar on the album as well as programming with Evan Frederiksen on bass and drums with Marti Frederiksen on percussion, programming and bass on track three. Orianthi has an attractive and pleasing voice and I’d be interested to know if she considers herself a singer who can play guitar or a guitarist who can sing? Whatever, she does both incredibly well and her solos are quite amazing. There are a number of styles on display here with the emphasis being mainly melodic but moments of metal break out and then she switches to more conventional blues rock. Yes, there are ballads as well and she has a great voice for a heart breaker as shown on Crawling Out Of The Dark which is maybe a little too much of a slow, burning track to be a single release but sure to become a live favourite. The songs are really well written with plenty of hooks and nice vocal harmonies but it is really when O cranks up the volume that the albums comes alive and her guitar playing is extraordinarily good.

O is an album with great cross-over potential as it is heavy enough to satisfy those looking for a bit of air guitar and the melody and harmonies will broaden its appeal much further with a number of the tracks having that vital radio friendliness. I also think that she has a great blues album in her, something along Steve Ray Vaughan or Jeff Healey lines, but it certainly shouldn’t be another seven years before we see something from Orianthi.

O track list

  1. Contagious (3:40)
  2. Sinners Hymn (4:06)
  3.  Rescue Me (3:52)
  4. Blow (3:25)
  5. Sorry (3:16)
  6. Crawling Out Of The Dark (3:57)
  7. Impulsive (4:19)
  8. Streams Of Consciousness (3:21)
  9. Company (3:47)
  10. Moonwalker (3:39)