Album Review: Lea Michele – Louder

Lea Michele Louder album cover

Lea Michele delivers decent pop debut
Lea Michele, famous for her main role in the cast of the series Glee, decided last year she wanted a career as a recording artist as well. At the end of 2012 she started to record songs and by summer, the album was ready for release. As we all know, a tragedy happened in her life as her boyfriend Cory Monteith died. Michele took some time to mourn over the loss of her lover and the album release got postponed. When the singer got back to work, she decided to record a few new songs, some of them being very personal. All together, Louder is a beautiful album full of great pop tunes and emotional ballads.

In December, Michele premiered ‘Cannonball’, her debut single. She recorded it after the death of Monteith. The song is written by Sia and Lea expressed in interviews how she felt the song was about her life at that moment. The power-ballad is about not letting the sadness get the better of you, but going on with your life. The power in the lyrics and the production of the song, are beautifully translated in Lea’s strong vocals. This was her first attempt at being a pop star and it was very promising to say the least. With the rest of the album, Michele shows the high expectations were justified.

The second track ‘On My Way’, which will be released as second single as well, shows Lea’s voice is perfectly suitable for some more uptempo pop tracks as well. The chorus is explosive and the rhythm is very upbeat and contagious. In an interview with Vevo, Lea explained how initially, her album was more focused on uptempo pop songs, inspired by Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. In the process of making Louder, she found out that she started to sound too similar to their style and she wanted to make things more personal. The song ‘Battlefield’ was an important moment for her, as that was the track that defined the style she wanted to create for herself, which is great. Songs like ‘On My Way’, ‘Louder’ and ‘Don’t Let Go’ are all nice uptempo tracks, but could basically be recorded by any female pop star that is out there at the moment.

Lea Michele truly shines on somewhat slower songs that are emotionally driven with vulnerable lyrics. The best example of this is the outstanding song ‘Thousand Needles’, that was co-written by Swedish pop singer Tove Lo. Lea perfectly gets across the emotions in the lyrics with per powerful vocals. Especially the ‘I’m Bleeding’ parts are strong and touching. The aforementioned ‘Battlefield’ shows off Lea’s vocal strengths very well too and once again she convinces with an emotional performance of quite a sad song. Luckily, this album is not only about loss and despair, as is proven by the Sia-penned ‘You’re Mine’. This is a gorgeous and uplifting pure love song that is taken to another level by its great production full of strings.

Sia and Tove Lo are not the only pop stars who delivered a song for miss Michele. Christina Perri also wrote a track called ‘Empty Handed’, that ended up on Louder. It is a beautiful, understated and pure song that is typical for Perri, but at the same time fits Lea’s style very well. The album is closed by the painfully honest song ‘If You Say So’, co-written by Michele herself. The song is about the last conversation on the phone she had with her late boyfriend Cory Monteith. The song describes this quite literal and although this is a painful story, she managed to turn it into a beaufiful song. I have got a lot of respect for the fact that she was able to turn this sad loss into a song and put it on her album. Michele is a brave pop star with a bright future. She started off her career as a recording artist in a great way with a beautiful, well produced album.

Must listen: Cannonball, Thousand Needles, Empty Handed, You’re Mine, If You Say So.