Sunday, 9 March 2014

Album Review: Lea Michele 'Louder'

Hello again blogosphere! I am too excited for words because Lea Michele (aka, the best person to ever grace this planet) has released her new album 'Louder'. If you've come here expecting a scathing review of her work, you've definitely come to the wrong place. If you're looking for a glowing, totally biased review however, stick around as I go through song by song the awesomeness that is 'Louder'. 

Before we get things started, here's the song list:
7. Louder
12. What Is Love? (on the deluxe version only)
13. Gone Tonight (on the deluxe version only)
14. The Bells (on the deluxe version only)

Without further ado, here are my (biased) opinions . . .

1. Cannonball

The first track on the album (which also happened to be the first single released last year), is truly, truly epic. It's seriously just like one mammoth empowerment anthem. Although it's pretty simple, it has an awesome message, and of course, Lea sounds amazing (although it's impossible for her not to). Plus, it has a totally fabulous, must see music video which is also just the best thing ever, does it get any better than that? Having seen it live (on the internet of course- if I'd actually seen her I probably would've had a cardiac arrest), the song really does work in all settings. Also, it's written by Sia (who's Australian- represent!), so that's pretty cool. All in all, an awesome and memorable leading track. 

2. On My Way

Funnily enough, this track also happens to be super awesome and amazing. It's got a pop feel which is always fun, and the tune is just super catchy. When it gets to the chorus it almost gets a bit dubsteppy with the super strong back beat (with stress on the almost, don't get the wrong impression). You know that overly poppy stuff that makes you want to gag, and you listen to it and you're just like:

This certainly isn't one of those. It's just enough pop to reach the point of awesome and not the point of heaving.

3. Burn with You

A bit different from the previous two tracks on the album, 'Burn with You' has kind of an electro beat on anti-depressants (in the best way possible). The melody's super pretty, and Lea sounds absolutely awesome (as always). The song is just jam packed with imagery and metaphors so that you're getting an English lesson and enjoying an awesome song at the same time. I actually really like some of the sound mixing effects in the song as well, they kind of added to the whole experience. Overall, it's refreshing, it's nice, and it's actually one of my favourites on the album. 

4. Battlefield

Ah, I absolutely love this. If you're a major 'Glee' fan like I am, you will definitely appreciate the Rachel Berry-ness of this song (and if you're not, how are you alive?). I think we all know by now that Lea Michele can rock a ballad, and boy does she rock it. It's such a pretty song, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the really awesome harmonies of Sia and Lea Michele. What makes this song even better is that the version that was put on the album was actually the demo version. How can someone be that talented? I just don't know.

5. You're Mine

If it's even possible, it seems that this song gets the drama of Broadway and puts it to a backbeat. Let's face it, if anyone can do it, Lea Michele can. It's super strong and expertly shows off Lea's powerhouse voice (which can never be anything but awesome). Also, the song spans over at least 2 octaves of pure belting, that's pretty impressive in itself. As with pretty much everything else on this album, the song also happens to be super catchy, which is always handy in the world of commercial music. Personally, the Broadway vibes this song give off are enough to win me over. 

6. Thousand Needles 

This song is probably the one that stands out the most on the album, simply because it's the most unique. It's a bit darker than the other songs, so that's always cool. It's haunting almost, but brings it away from the morbidly depressing with a catchy tune and a pretty melody. Once again, Lea's vocals are flawless, and everyone who's listening is insanely jealous.

However, luckily everyone seems to have refrained from homicide which is always good. Overall, a super awesome addition to the album.

7. Louder

'Louder', the title track, similar to 'Cannonball' is once again rather anthemic and full of empowering messages. If you're a fan of the awesomeness that is 'Glee', then you'll find the message promoted in the song rather accessible, as this is pretty much the core lesson in every episode. Basically, it's just saying stop being weirdly introverted and adopt the yolo mentality (except way better than that). It's powerful, it's catchy and it's super awesome. What's not to love? All in all, a strong title track. 

8. Cue the Rain

What I really like about this album is that every song is slightly different, and this track is no exception. This song is really cool, that's all I can say. I can't even pinpoint why I like it so much, I just do, it's just one of those songs. It kind of almost Kelly Clarkson-esque (except way less depressing). It's a bit angry which is always fun, but it's also got a really interesting melody. Also, I actually can't get over the backbeat at the beginning, does that make me really weird? Probably, but I don't care, I just really love it, and the song in general.

9. Don't Let Go

This song is kind of a pop-rock mash up (well, as rock as Lea Michele gets) and is just a fun song with a message. Once again promoting the yolo mentality, I can't help but feel like this song screams 'Glee' (which let's face it, is always a good thing). Once it gets to the chorus, it gets into full blown 'dance around in your bedroom like an idiot' pop, which is definitely a turn for the fun. It also sounds like she's having a blast while singing it, and a happy Lea Michele is a happy me (because I'm really sad and have no life). 

10. Empty Handed

Once again bringing something different to the album, 'Empty Handed' strips it back a bit with its light, guitar-driven beat. The song slowly builds (and let's face it, who doesn't love a good build?), and Christina Perri's influence as co song writer is clear. I haven't decided yet because they're all so awesome, but this may in fact be my favourite song on the album. The melody is ridiculously pretty, haunting almost (in an awesome way), and the prevalent male voice in the background means that they were able to throw some harmonies in there, which were once again amazeballs. Overall, a seriously, seriously amazing song. 

11. If You Say So

So much song, so much emotion. Upon first listening, people would just think this is another emotional yet uplifting ballad by Lea Michele, but when you find out that it was written about Cory Monteith, it is just too sad. 

Seriously, the emotions! July last year was pretty much the worst month ever, and now to have to relive it through song is just too much. And if it's too much for me, think of how hard it was for Lea! Without context it is still a really pretty and powerful song, but knowing all the circumstances just makes it ten times more poignant. 

12. What Is Love?

We've already established that Lea and ballads are an awesome combination, so once again, this song's a major success. The melody's really super pretty, and I actually can't get over how amazing and almost ethereal Lea's voice sounds in the chorus. The piano intro kind of sets a nice tone for the track, and when the string section just starts going all out, you know everyone's hooked. It's just a really nice song, that's all I can say. 

13. Gone Tonight

This mid-tempo power ballad is really an awesome edition found on the deluxe version of the album. It seems like Lea's really in her element with it, and if an artist enjoys what they're singing it always makes a big difference. Plus, the tune is super catchy and awesome, which is always material for a good pop-esque song. It's kind of a nice mix between something you'd hear on the radio and something you'd find being performed by some small, independent pop group. Luckily, it never delved in to too much of either (otherwise I'd be majorly depressed and negative- actually let's face it, it's Lea Michele, I wouldn't be negative at all). Overall, a seriously quality track. 

14. The Bells

I really, really loved this song. It was a bit different which is awesome, and the vocals that Lea produced were just amazing (again, like the rest of her album- or any melody she's ever produced). The song began with actual bells which I was blown away with (because I'm really sad), proving that this track was aptly named. Plus, I am absolutely obsessed with the melody of the chorus, it's just pure awesomeness. When you chuck in a few accidentals with any melodic line, it's either going to be really awful or really amazing. You guessed it, in this case, it worked epicly. 

Congratulations on reaching the end of my review of the awesomeness that is Lea Michele's album! I think this is probably the most adjectives I've ever used in my entire life, but what better place to use them? I demand that you all go and purchase this from iTunes right now. Don't even think about illegally downloading it, and yes, you read that right. Boost the album sales! Do it, now! Also, did I mention that 'Louder' reached number one in Australia? So yeah, I'm over the moon, and I imagine Lea is too. Overall, this pretty much sums up my reaction to the whole album:

That's all for now, I need to go calm myself down. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

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