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CD REVIEW: Love Lead by Laura Vecchione

This is the third album from Laura Vecchione. It’s the first I’ve heard. I’d really love to hear more from here. The range of sounds here is quite wide. There is a definite leaning toward retro elements throughout, though.

The opening song (“Light of Day”) shows off a soulful kind of torch singer element. There is some old school country along with some blues and jazz. It’s a very traditional sounding tune, down to the backing vocals and organ.

“Keep Knockin'” really makes me think of the kind of soul music Tina Turner used to do with Ike Turner. It’s an energized cut that’s designed to get people to the dance floor. This is like a slice of history in groove generating form.

The title track really captures a lot of emotion in its musical mix. It’s measured tune that has a lot of retro soul and gospel in the mix. The organ really contributes to that old-time element. The vocals are among the best of the disc. It makes sense that this is the title track because it’s one of the best here.

Next comes “Traffic Light,” and this time we find ourselves more in line with the 1970s singer songwriter style. There is a lot of folk music built into this. The attention to song styles of the past is still present here. It’s just a different era that is drawn upon.

On “Birdsong” I’m reminded of Judy Collins. I like the old school folk traditions that are referenced here. The songwriting on this is particularly classy. There are moments where the vocals here are really bird-like.

I suppose “Better Man” is along the lines of that 1970s female singer songwriter sound. Still, there are some bluesy elements here. It’s a strong song.

One of the biggest complaints women have about men is that a lot of them are just big children. That’s what the soulful tune bearing the title “Rockin’ a Baby” is all about it. It’s energized, and the lyrics really catch the concept well. Boys are fun, when you are young and carefree. When it’s time to get serious, though, a woman needs a man. This is another that makes me think of the Ike and Tina Turner period of sound.

“Judas Kiss” is set more in 1970s bluesy rock style. I think the vocals are among the best here. They really shine with a bluesy soulfulness.

I’m reminded a little of Judy Collins on “Brave,” too. It’s more about the voice and general song structure, though. It is musically a little less folk and more adult contemporary than the kind of music I associate with Collins. This is still set in classic sounds. The lyrics on this are empowering.

We’re definitely well set in that female singer songwriter style from the 1970s on “You’re the One.” It has some hints of country music, too.

The harpsichord on “Marksman” lends an interesting element. I think it works because it’s used sparingly in only one section. This is arguably the most modern sounding thing on the disc.

Vecchione brings us back into the 1970s folk style with “Lone Wolf.” It is another that feels like something from Judy Collins. That’s just  in terms of musical style, though. The vocals on this one don’t make me think of Collins.

A piano based ballad, “Midlife” is a pretty way to ground the set to end it. It is another that makes me think of Judy Collins at least in style. It’s the most purely mellow piece of music here.  It’s also so strong. The strings add a lot to the mood.

I think that the way the album is organized is interesting. It seems that songs move throughout the set from one style gradually to another. That lends a sort of musical thematic approach that, from an academic point of view makes sense. I wonder, though, if it might have made for a more stirring ride if things had jumped around a bit more, emphasizing the versatility by placing songs that were more different next to one another. It works extremely well as is. I just think maybe it would be more moving in a different sequence.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Lead-Laura-Vecchione/dp/B01N2MUKHS

by Mary Angela Tobin

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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