Britney, Solenn turn on the charm in latest albums
They may not possess the best voices in the music biz, but Britney Spears and Solenn Heussaff’s performing/singing skills are nothing to scoff at—as their latest albums, “Glory” and “Solenn,” validate. The songstresses certainly know how to turn on the charm.
Britney’s ninth studio recording recalls the impressive vocal heft she displayed in “In the Zone.” It may not be as thematically diverse as you’d expect from a “maturing” pop songstress—she’s turning 35 in December—but its slinky R&B anthems and jaunty dance-floor dazzlers are treated with irresistible sass, class and polish.
“Glory,” which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 last week, is a fun-filled distillation of diverse styles and sounds.
There are a good number of sexually charged themes and tunes (“Private Show,” the reggae-infused “Slumber Party,” “Love Me Down” and “Make Me,” garnished with rapper G-Eazy’s hip-hop swagger), but Britney sings them with crowd-pleasing relish, urgency and sweltering conviction.
The slinky, synth-driven album opener, “Invitation,” is as sonically seductive as it is innovatively arranged.
Also noteworthy are the gorgeous harmonies that fuel “Man on the Moon’s” dreamy allure.
But Britney’s personal upheavals are just as relatable. In “Just Luv Me,” for instance, she pleads for understanding by saying she doesn’t need much when she’s “breaking”: “All I need is your love and a little bit of patience.”
In “Just Like Me,” which benefits from its sing-along appeal and sections that are occasionally countrified, Britney amps up the drama when she sings about the last straw that comes when she discovers that her cheating beau has been sleeping around with “someone who looks like me!”
The album likewise owes its musical charm to the idiosyncratically realized blend of swing and EDM in “Clumsy,” as well as the terpsichorean sizzle of “Do You Wanna Come Over?” and Britney’s vocally rousing turn in “What You Need.”
Worth a spin
Solenn Heussaff’s eponymously titled latest album, “Solenn,” is worth a spin on music lovers’ portable media players because of its easy-listening tunes and the 31-year-old singer-actress’ unforced, competent singing.
The collection features an eight-track lineup, followed by minus-one versions that will tickle sing-along aficionados’ fancy.
Solenn’s straightforward singing allows listeners to do away with vocal gimmicks and other distractions and lets them focus on her song’s message and melody, instead.
As a result, it’s easier to appreciate the suppressed emotions that come bursting to the fore when Solenn essays Christopher Cross’ 1980 ballad, “Never Be the Same”—about a romance that comes undone when “love slips out of sight.”
Other hum-worthy tracks: Elvin Reyes and Sheryl Ann Padre’s soothing “Always,” Sir Nicholai Ramil Basilonia’s easygoing “Lalapit o Lalayo,” Jimmy Borja and Deanna Loveland’s radio-ready “It’s Never Rained Here,” Edward Fernandez’s guitar-driven “Kilig” (from the movie, “Lakbay2Love”) and Solenn’s jazzed up reworking of Neocolours’ “Pangako.”
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