On a great many of the albums that I review, the vocals take a back seat to the instrumentation. A Woman’s Way starts off Loren’s latest, Heart First, and showcases that this does not need to be the case. Where the instrumentation is solid, Loren’s vocals contribute the greatest in regards to the overall path that the album takes. C’Est Si Bon showcases the worldliness of eir vocals, as listeners will be provided with a melodic vocal journey through numerous cultures and overall sounds. On each of the album’s tracks, listeners will be greeted to Loren’s own unique blend of styles, influences, and genres. While what issues forth on a track like My One And Only Love is jazz-based, I feel that Sway (Quien Sera) is powered through a more continental, torch singer-type of sound.
With nary a weak track to be found, chances are good that listeners will be able to keep this on repeat in their cars or at their desk; the numerous approaches that Loren takes to crafting music will be enough to make a fan out of even the most hard to place music fan. Heart First ends with Crazy Love, a sub-four minute track that provides listeners with a little more evidence that Loren is utterly comfortable in eir role as the focus of this title.
Keep an eye out for Loren, both in terms of subsequent recordings as well as any live dates that ey may do. I believe that eir work on Heart First will do much to break the conception of vocal music as stodgy and otherwise reluctant to change.
Top Tracks: My One And Only Love, Waiting In Vain
Halie Loren – Heart First (CD) / 2012 Justin Time Records / 14 Tracks / http://www.halieloren.com/