Buy Ron Schepper, Textura
Some albums document who an artist is at a particular moment; others are culminating statements that seem to distill entire life experience into a single artistic expression. Among the latter is ONA, a remarkably ambitious recording by vocalist and composer Thana Alexa, who, in committing herself so completely to the project, has produced one of the year’s most compelling collections. It’s as substantial thematically as it is musically, exploring as it does female empowerment from multiple angles. The genesis of ONA (“she” in her family’s native Croatian language) can be traced to the 2017 Women’s March protest in Washington, D.C., an experience that for Alexa proved life-changing. From it was directly born one of the album’s most outspoken pieces, “The Resistance,” whose message is bolstered by a seething spoken word turn by poet Staceyann Chin. Yet while ONAaddresses darker issues associated with injustice, it’s also a celebration of womanhood, strength, and creative vitality. Read the full review here.