Shatter Me, by Lindsey Stirling
Suggested by Noli-Rose Nikitaki
I’m a Brony.
For those not in the know, a Brony is defined as a male fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a cartoon series pitched for tween girls that ran for nine seasons until mid-2019.
I came to my Brony status via my wife. She’s a lifetime collector of the My Little Pony toy line, first unleashed in the mid-Eighties and still going strong. As a gamer and collector myself, I align with her hobbies. Our house is filled with plastic. Small plastic ponies on her side, little plastic soldiers on mine.
It was a serendipitous beginning. I’m a huge fan of collectible card games (CCGs), so when we discovered a CCG based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it was as if the stars aligned. Our two hobbies, entwined. I bought the starter set, and we played the game. Then we watched the show, and that was that. Brony 4 lyfe, y0.
Two minor characters in the show are Octavia, a classical-music-loving cellist, and DJ Pon3, a club / dub / WUB DJ. In one landmark episode, the two ponies are forced to collaborate in order to save a wedding between two donkeys. They create a song that’s a heady blend of classical gas and dubstep dance, and it rocks the joint to save the day.
Shatter Me, by Lindsey Stirling, sounds exactly like that song. So much so that Sarah, who uses the Pony song as her ringtone, popped her head through her office door because she thought someone was calling.
Across twelve blistering tracks, Lindsay imparts a slew of scorching violin performances against a variety of beating dance electronica. It’s an obvious virtuoso performance, full of swagger and sweetness and strength and subtlety. Soaring in places and whispering in others, these majority instrumentals are energetic, full of life, and exquisitely beautiful. Lindsay runs through a plethora of dance styles, from almost straight-up Eurobeat through a club classic sound, and hitting some strong Dubstep throbs with Drum and Bass accents.
It’s in the more volatile Dubstep mixes where I feel the music finds its firmest footing. The opening track, Beyond the Veil, is perhaps the best example of this, and it’s my choice for standout track in a sea of standout tracks. Others of note include Take Flight and Swag, a track that achieves a more rocky feel through the use of distortion and less dance-focused rhythms.
Strangely for me, I feel that the album’s weakest songs are the title track Shatter Me and We Are Giants. These are the only songs that incorporate conventional vocalists, and they come over as diminished because of it.
Shatter Me gets a strong 7/10. Notably, it’s also the first album that my wife has asked for further details, to add to playlists of her own. She’s absorbing this project through an enforced yet benign osmosis, but it’s nice that, like My Little Pony, the work of Lindsey Stirling is something we can share and enjoy together. Such slices of life are what keeps us smiling in these troubling and turbulent times.