Singer songwriter Linda Brooks’ third Album, The Upside, isn’t an awful album, it just has some awful qualities.
Brooks has a beautiful, clear, pure voice that rings through every song but it’s partially overshadowed by the amateur, forced-sounding lyrics that are projected from the beginning of the album; “something doesn’t feel right, like a shoe that’s too tight, and I don’t know how to fix it,” and “I don’t know how we’re gonna make it through because we turn circles, me and you.”
The first track, Now That You’re Here, is similar to Garth Brooks Wrapped Up In You with its silly, light-hearted attempt at a love song but it won’t bring her the same results it did him.
The song was co-produced by Chris Leuzinger, who also works with Garth Brooks.
The whole album, and especially Now That You’re Here, is an attempt at storytelling and inspirationalism that falls flat.
Brooks takes already common themes such as generalized love songs about missing a lover and waters them down further with mediocre tunes that aren’t exactly upbeat but aren’t emotional enough to be any kind of tear-jerker, they’re mostly just annoying.
The Upside has nothing unique to offer the listeners and doesn’t have a lot of diversity in its tracks.
The only redeemable tracks on the album are: What Is because it shows off her vocal range best and is the most enduring because it has a fresh, sincere meaning that isn’t emulated in the rest of the album; and Smile because Brooks’ voice finally offers the emotion the song demands. The piano accompaniment is also beautiful and enhances the song’s mood.
Up-and-comer crafts sensational masterpiece
The debut EP of Sri Lankan born Roveena is intoxicating, dramatic and emotionally provocative.
Roveena creates a beautiful blend of cultures with her elegant voice, lyrics and the EP’s accompanying music.
Perfect World, the EP’s title track, is a masterpiece of image-inducing, potent storytelling.
It displays perfectly the conflicts of growing up in a new culture while trying to hold on to the values and traditions old one, but is relatable to girls and women across the globe in its underlying themes of insecurities and acceptance.
The accompanying instruments incorporate both soothing and dramatic elements that enhance both the lyrics and her voice.
Love Will Light The Way surpasses, by far, most popular, mainstream love songs today.
It’s catchy and contemporary without copying the mainstream-pop love song formula. The powerful lyrics, combined with a custom melody results in an emotional love song.
I Lied, the EP’s third track, is about someone who tried as hard as they could to avoid love but succumbed in the end. It has an almost poisoned outlook on love but at the same time retains the elegance the rest of the inspirational album retains.
The EP’s most inspirational track, Broken Wings, lacks the cultural mixture of the rest of the album but lacks in nothing else.
Roveena mixes love and pain and overcoming struggles into another contemporary lyrical stunner.
Alone Another Night lacks the powerful lyrics of the EP’s other songs but the song’s powerful message, accompanied by Roveena’s trademark voice draws listeners in to the capturing world of love and hurt.
Perfect World may only be Roveena’s career debut but if she can retain her strong and cultured talent she has a promising career ahead of her.
Canadian classical singer covers popular hits
Passione, Charles Di Raimondo’s new album, is an acquired taste but that is no reflection on his vocal and instrumental talents within the classical and opera worlds.
Di Raimondo’s Passione is brought to life with an array of English, Spanish and Italian ballads.
Di Raimondo powers his way through the album with his strong and rich yet tender and charming voice that, with his vocal flexibility, soars from one end of his broad vocal range to the other.
However, while the strength and breadth of his voice changes at whim with an easily detectable confidence, the tone and emotion of his voice hardly ever changes so by the end of the album each song begins to sound the same.
The English ballads of Passione, especially Together Again, with Di Raimondo’s strong voice, generates a melodic atmosphere reminiscent of Whitney Huston’s version of I Will Always Love You.
Not all the songs on the album are romantic, Mamma (Nell’Eterna Melodia), the eternal melody, was written about Di Raimondo’s mother who died suddenly, but the atmosphere of the album is romantic.
The cultured music and sound of the Canadian tenor provides an elegance, even to songs about emotional suffering and personal struggles; When I’m Back On My Feet Again, which is a Diane Warren song that was a hit for Michael Bolton.
Passione is a good album if you’re already interested in classical music. But if you’re not, this may not be the album that changes your mind.