Oparu is the brainchild of singer-songwriter and actress Dianne St Hillaire. Based in Los Angeles, she has previously partnered with Kim Flowley and toured throughout America, but in 2015 she reinvented herself and named her act after the Japanese word for opal. Her inspiration comes from experimental electronic music, eighties pop and alternative rock, which melt together to create a futuristic electronic sound. The singer also has ties with classical music, which is the main influence on show in her new single Remember Me.
Within the first few seconds of the track I was confused. At the beginning there were rhythmic electronic sounds which made me believe the song was going to mostly be just that, but immediately after one of two bars of this the music abruptly transitioned into piano chords. To be completely honest, I think those out-of-place computerised sounds could have been cut from the track entirely. However, I did enjoy the big, soaring strings and the lower-range piano chords which made the track evoke the familiarity of an epic Hollywood fantasy soundtrack.
Oparu’s vocals were strong in both tone and projection. You could hear that some of her jumps from lower to higher notes were a little messy and rough, but there was much evidence of arduous hours of singing lessons in her delivery. It’s not often that a song has no lyrics for its chorus. To pull it off you need a catchy and memorable melody, which was exactly what the chorus of Remember Me was. The melody glided from note to note and had enough of those quaint little surprises to make the ‘ohs’ worth remembering. My only issue with the production of the piece was that there was a clear build up and increase in tension but no release. Something in the last chorus needed to change, whether it was the introduction of an electronic sound or Oparu laying down some amazing ad lib, it just needed that built up energy liberated.
I quite enjoyed listening to Remember Me and it could have easily slotted into the soundtrack of a fantasy movie. However, there were a few little let downs, like the tangled transition from low to high in the vocals and the lack of a climactic point. I give it 8/10.
Check out the single here