by Faith Roberts
I recently reviewed one (apparently of many) of Detroit artist L'Renee's albums titled "Europe". After having a brief chat with her I found out that the reason for naming the album "Europe" was because she , "...eventually want(s) to travel there." She said, "...my music has been there but I haven't and I wanted this to be a testament to the days to come." I can dig it.
The first full song among the album riddled with interludes is titled "What's the Weather". The song seems a little busy at first but eventually grabs my attention because of it's catchy melody and unusual depiction of a turbulent relationship by comparing and contrasting it to weather. By the second verse I was ready to sing along especially as the lead vocals get more intense. Once past this song, I realize that listening to this album is going to be a real treat.
The second song is titled "Reflections". It seems to have that nursery rhyme appeal in terms of melody. I like the simplicity of this track over the first. I also am drawn into the texture of L'Renee's lead vocals on this one. This song definitely got a repeat. I liked how she mixed a simple melody with a very mature topic. Nice job on this one.
The next track is very much like an endorsement track. It's an interlude. From the sounds of it, it seems like she pulled together voicemails of fans and put them to music. Not a bad idea for an artist without a large fan base.
The next song is titled "Baby Don't Give Up". This song almost sounds like a different singer but I love the song. By this song I am really starting to want to look for more albums from this artist. She seems to have an exceptional amount of control over her voice and I love the way she applies it over the heavy hip hop sounding beats. This song like the others is relatively short, but that's not such a bad thing. This song left me feeling up beat.
"You" is the next track. The music is very sexy and starts with a spoken word piece. Once again the lead vocals start strong and maintain a high level of intensity with a great blend of simplistic lyrics and a vocalist who apparently has a strong grasp on how to use her voice...on this song I was really able to notice the range that L'Renee seems to easily have at her fingertips. Good job!
Another interlude of fans/supporters follows "You"...this time she has one relatively popular artist who is on the track. From the verbal reviews on this track, I am really starting to feel like I know L'Renee personally. I like the way verbal endorsements are not just about her as an artist but also speak to her character as a person.
The next song is titled "It's Not Over"...this song is EXTREMELY smooth and sexy. After doing a double take I was happy to see that the writers included another once signed artist Lathan. Although L'Renee is the only vocalist on this song, it is hard to tell because the vocal range is impeccable. I love how the song ends by fading out the music and allowing us to suspend on her vocals alone.
"I Can Love You Better" is a sassy song that describes a relationship that exists between two people under circumstances that are not optimal but L'Renee seems to take the stance that she is better than whoever the man she is exposing her heart to is currently with. The song seems to be a little busy like the first song on the album, but I can still get with it, because of the heavy drum/bass line...made me make the "it's funky" face. L'Renee reveals to us a more gritty sound on this track which is a nice compliment to hard hitting music sounds. Once again she shows us her range but also this time shows us that she can ad lib with the best of them. Lots of gospel influence present in this track.
The next song is a very sweet song titled "Yes (I do)". Nice transition from the previous song. On this song L'Renee, uses a certain type of longing in her voice that is not easily replicated in today's music. I like the smooth back grounds arrangements. I can easily see this song becoming a wedding song based upon the lyrical content along with gentle and sweet harmonies that support the lead vocals.
Another interlude track of fan endorsements follows ...nice to hear one of the people collaborating with her on the album comment (Lathan).
"Addition (Material World)" is the next song...it has a really nice caribbean feel. In this song L'Renee discusses being enchanted by being spoiled by the finer things of life. This is a very different topic from the rest of the album, but she definite still delivers the song with the same intensity. I'm really feeling how versatile this vocalist is. After looking back over credits it was surprising to see that one of the writers also appeared as a feature on "I Can Love You Better" (87).
When the next track "You Don't Have to Cry" came on, it made better sense why "Addiction (Material World)" was included on this album. "You Don't Have to Cry" seems to be a really nice dance track. After reviewing the credits on this one (as you can see I like to dig beneath the surface) the dance element made perfect sense because the co-writer was the legendary DJ for Detroit's Slum Village, DJ Dez. The featured rap done by Lansky makes this song sound like it could easily be radio song.
This time hearing another interlude was welcomed. I almost wished I could've been one of the lucky people to be put on this album. I really loved the last commentary because it seemed so genuine.
I would also like to admit that the last interlude was absolutely necessary because the genre of the album switches with the last song on the album which is titled "Beautiful Day". (lucky for L'Renee, I enjoy alternative music also so I didn't mind much) I really enjoyed her voice on this heavy string driven composition. On this song, she gives us a taste of just how soothing her voice can be. Her voice really seems to draw me in...especially because during the verses almost all instruments drop out except for the sound of her voice, bongos, and acoustic guitar. It gave me a fell like I was listening to the next starlet doing a set in a Starbuck's coffee house lobby. This is of course until L'Renee hits me with that fabulous range and suddenly I shocked into reality. This girl has got some pipe on her. I said it before and I will say it again, she got a real gift and certainly seems to know how to use it.
If I had to rate the whole album, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. The album is mostly well rounded. There were a couple of mastering quality bloopers that I noticed but the polish evident in the vocal ability of L'Renee certainly carried this album's rating up.
Completing my research on this artist I found out that she actually tours with Universal Motown Recording artist Kem and spotlights during his sets. Ticketmaster has a few comments of his concerts that directly mention her as a highlight of his show. I'm interested in getting my front row seats now. I'm curious to see how this vocalist fairs out in a live setting.
Either way, I'm a new fan and can't wait for my voice to blare out my enthusiasm of this lovely vocalist on her future projects.
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.