Cheryl B. Engelhardt – Craving The Second

Cheryl B. Engelhardt – Craving The Second / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / /

2004 marked the first Cheryl Engelhardt album; “Shoes Off and Run” provided individuals with a sense of Engelhardt’s pop-laced style. “Craving The Second” is so much more; “Keep” uses a melody that could be created by a Scarecrow and Tinman with a set of vocals that touches upon all of the famous female singers, whether with be Amy Grant or Natalie Cole. “Keep” showcases the vocal abilities of Engelhardt as much as it showcases the ability of Engelhardt to create a hook-laden chorus that will stick in listeners’ minds for a long time.

The slower style present during “16 Walls” shows that Engelhardt can take different paths with her music and still provide individuals with a capable and impressive sound. The eclectic sound of “16 Walls” links bongos with a more traditional set of piano lines; Engelhardt’s Morrisette-esque vocals here occupy the perfect middle ground, not even flinching when the rock-infused guitar/drum dynamic takes hold of the track. “Day Dreamer” has a slower sound than either “Keep” or “16 Walls”. This slower style speeds up for the chorus, but the track continues to showcase Engelhardt’s quirky and always interesting vocal approach. “You Want To” is another shift in the style approached by Engelhardt. A ska-laced sound is united with an Incubus type of rock to give a new canvas for Engelhardt; the resulting style is something utterly unique. While individuals may be able to tease out some linkage to the current type of female pop style (Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow), the linkage that Engelhardt’s vocals and the instrumentation on the track have not previously been heard.

It will take a few listens to get a proper idea what Engelhardt is trying to do with “You Want To”, but Engelhardt will achieve fame because she continually pushes the envelope in a genre that many individuals felt was static. “Wrapped Up” has a “Cornflake Girl” opening to it, but Engelhardt’s vocal style keeps the track from sounding derivative in any sense. Couple Engelhardt’s vocals with the sixties percussion that filters through during the chorus, and individuals are given yet another reason why Engelhardt succeeds in reinventing the pop genre. The continual breaking with tradition, whether it be using different time signatures or staggered vocals, shows a musician that is comfortable with herself and confident in her own abilities. The success that each of the twelve tracks on “Craving The Second” achieve is further evidence for Engelhardt’s ability.

Top Tracks: So Soon, Day Dreamer

Rating: 7.3/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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