After having watching pretty much every season on singing and talent contests out there, from Americal Idol to America’s Got Talent, one things that I’ve noticed is that most of the singers have all the same voices. They all might look different, but basically the tone of their vocals are all pretty much similar. If you were listening to them in a large time lapse, it would be alright but when you hear them one after the other, it gets tiresome. Luckily, there’s always an artist, normally a female, that brings a whole new fresh take to the song she’s playing not only because of the arrangements but by her voice.
As I was listening “Oliver” by San Clemente’s California native Grace Freeman, The Voice’s Melanie Rodriguez came to my mind for some reason. Perhaps the quirky, ethereal and sulky range of her vocals blended with a minimalistic approach to music. And while the latter one brings with her a whole style, Freeman’s music feels less theatrical and rather more intimate.
Piano is an instrument that just guitar, if you know how to play it, you can get all these different layers and textures to create something either unique or original. This is what the 19 years old artist manages to produce on her new record, Shadows. Songs like “Trying To Say Goodbye” has this nice, Beatles/Beach Boys melodies that will get you loving her music. As mentioned earlier, her music is often minimalistic and piano driven – though songs like “Another Long Night” finds her adding this other great new layers, making it perhaps one of the loudest and most energetic songs in the album.
Freeman is no Regina Spektor or Norah Jones, though I doubt she’s either looking to be none of them. There are some elements of Jazz throughout the record, but her music feels more as a rendition to the early days of rock and roll back when Brian Wilson and other musicians filled with their sound with dreamy textures that gives their music a great and somewhat subliminal feel.
Criteria - 90%
Overall, the record is one that takes a while to grow on you but when it does, it haunts you and doesn't let you go. If you really dig classic rock and roll, especially those filled with great melodies and piano, then this album will be an amazing addition to your collection. Grace Freeman is definitely a star potential artist.