Friday’s Five Tunes with Laura White

British soul pop singer-songwriter Laura White selects her five favourite tunes for A Bit of Pop Music. Continue reading

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Introducing: Ruth Lorenzo / Single Review: Love Is Dead

Ruth Lorenzo cover

Ruth Lorenzo launches solo career five years after X Factor

In 2008, Ruth Lorenzo was a contestant in the live shows of the British X Factor. The singer, mentored by Dannii Minogue, survived a sing off against favourite Laura White (who recently released new material as well) and finished in the fifth place, thanks to powerful renditions of ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’, ‘Angels’ and ‘No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)’. Lorenzo is now launching a solo career in Britain with her new single ‘Love Is Dead’.

The Spanish-born Ruth Lorenzo was the singer of a rock band and tried her luck in a Spanish talent show, but she had her breakthrough when she made it to the top 5 of X Factor, losing out to Alexandra Burke, JLS and Diana Vickers. She took her time to work on solo material and released the single ‘Burn’ in Spain in 2011. Earlier this year, she released her first single in the UK, called ‘The Night’. The melodic pop/rock style of this song suits her voice perfectly. ‘The Night’ has a powerful and memorable chorus and the verses are exciting and captivating. It is a shame that the song was not picked up by radio stations in order to achieve a respectable chart position, but on the 1st of December, she tries again with the release of the new single ‘Love Is Dead’.

‘Love Is Dead’ is a big, powerful and dramatic ballad. The song could be described as pop, but with a few hints of rock thanks to the omnipresent guitars and it has a bit of a gothic feel, because of the dark sound and lyrics. Once again, Ruth proves that her strong voice is made for this type of big and dramatic songs. ‘Love Is Dead’ starts out small with only piano and Ruth’s voice, but at that point it already breathes an ominous atmosphere. By the time of the chorus, guitars kick in and Lorenzo tells a story about a lost love, in dark and heavy wordings: “Love is dead, numb like a beat-less drum, no one else can give it life, mourn till dawn, but forever I’ll sing this song.” Ruth gives a convincing and emotional performance of this heavy story. I hope she can get a hit this time around, because with ‘The Night’ and ‘Love Is Dead’, Lorenzo proves she is a worthy pop star with great songs and undeniable vocal talent.

Introducing: Laura White / EP Review: What My Mother Taught Me

Laura White What My Mother Taught Me EP Cover

Laura White finally releases debut EP

Laura White rose to fame when she participated in X Factor in 2008. She was on the same season as Alexandra Burke, JLS and Diana Vickers, and in spite of being one of the favourites in the live shows, she had to leave the competition in the fifth week, ending up in the eighth place. White’s early exit did cause a lot of controversy as many people thought she deserved to get much further in the competition, but she did not give up and started working on a career. Her first single ‘You Should Have Known’ reached the UK top 40, but after this release, things got quiet around the singer. Now she has finally released her debut EP What My Mother Taught Me.

From Laura’s renditions of songs like ‘Fallin’’, ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ and ‘God Bless The Child’ during X Factor, it became clear that she has a incredibly strong and soulful voice with a somewhat raspy tone at times. After the release of the banging R&B/pop single ‘You Should Have Known’, White recorded songs like ‘First Date’ and ‘Cathedral’ independently, but this month she finally officially released some material. The EP What My Mother Taught Me contains four songs and it seems Laura decided to go down a more soulful route, which fits her perfectly.

The EP opens with ‘Come On Josephine’, a soulful pop number with an uplifting and catchy chorus. White’s warm vocals are tailor made for this kind of mix of soul and pop. I could certainly imagine to hear this swinging and lovely song on the radio everywhere, as it is easy listening and definitely catchy. On ‘Jimi Hendrix’, Laura sounds a little more sensual and edgy, but she once again delivers a strong chorus that takes the song to a higher plan. She effortlessly shows the versatility of her voice in this song, as she sings the verses quite low and understated, but properly belts in the last chorus. ‘Rush Hour’ is a sweet and swinging track that is about wanting to see a person so much, that you would even drive through rush hour just to tell that person you live him/her. The catchy trumpets in the chorus are a nice finishing touch. The EP closes with the piano ballad ‘To Be Loved’, on which White once again shows the power in her vocals. Laura White has found a sound and style that completely fits her voice and it would be great to hear a full album of this next year.

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Laura White brengt eindelijk debuut EP uit

Laura White werd bekend toen ze in 2008 meedeed aan de Britse versie van X Factor. Ze zat in hetzelfde seizoen als Alexandra Burke, boyband JLS en Diana Vickers. Hoewel ze vanaf het begin één van de favorieten leek, moest ze de show al in de vijfde liveshow verlaten, wat haar een achtste positie opleverde. White’s vroege uitschakeling was dagenlang onderwerp van gesprek in het Verenigd Koninkrijk, gezien vele kijkers het niet terecht vonden dat de getalenteerde zangeres zo vroeg naar huis werd gestuurd, maar White gaf niet op en begon te werken aan haar carrière. Haar eerste single ‘You Should Have Known’ haalde in 2009 de Britse top 40, maar daarna werd het al snel wat stil rondom de zangeres. Nu heeft ze eindelijk haar eerste EP What My Mother Taught Me uitgebracht.

In Laura’s vertolkingen van onder anderen ‘Fallin’’, ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ en ‘God Bless The Child’ tijdens X Factor, werd al duidelijk dat de zangeres een ongelooflijk sterke, soulvolle en ietwat hese stem heeft. Na de release van de knallende R&B/popsingle ‘You Should Have Known’ nam White zelfstandig nog liedjes als ‘First Date’ en ‘Cathedral’ op, maar deze maand werd er weer officieel nieuw materiaal uitgebracht. De EP What My Mother Taught Me bestaat uit vier liedjes en het lijkt erop dat Laura een meer soulvolle richting heeft gekozen, wat perfect bij haar past.

De EP begint met ‘Come On Josephine’, een soulvol popliedje met een opbeurend en pakkend refrein. White’s warme stem is op maat gemaakt voor deze mix van soul en pop. Dit lied zou zeker ook goed tot zijn recht komen op de radio, gezien het makkelijk in het gehoor ligt. Op ‘Jimi Hendrix’ laat Laura een wat sensueler en edgier geluid horen, maar ze levert wederom een zeer sterk refrein af, wat het lied naar een hoger niveau tilt. Ze laat zonder moeite de veelzijdigheid van haar stem horen door in de refreinen laag, ingetogen en ietwat verleidelijk te klinken en in het laatste refrein uit te pakken met flinke uithalen. ‘Rush Hour’ is een lief en swingend liedje dat erover gaat dat je zelfs door het spitsuur zou rijden om je geliefde alleen maar even te vertellen dat je van hem of haar houdt. De pakkende trompetjes in het refrein maken de track helemaal af. De EP wordt afgesloten met de piano ballad ‘To Be Loved’, waar White nog maar even de kracht van haar stem laat horen. Laura White heeft zich een stijl aangemeten die perfect bij haar stem past en het zou mooi zijn om daar volgend jaar een heel album van te horen.