Lael Summer: Burden To Bear
A big, loud horn bleat starts the grooving “I Need a Man,” the opener of Lael Summer’s new album, Burden to Bear. New York City’s True Groove Records artist, an NYC native herself, Lael says of this collection of 11 new songs, “I picked through my thoughts, my dreams, my nightmares, conversations, observations and memories and used the fragments of my life to piece together something I could share with others.”
From “I Need a Man” onward, Lael indeed “shares” a unique vocal prowess that at times is grooving and other times whispery light, a lyrical sensibility as poignant as it can be naughty (this first one has great “I got an itch to scratch and you ain’t doin’ it right” line ) all with a great backing band.
“You’re Too Small” mines the succinct put-down territory you’d think a song of this title would. “Make You Whole” is a pretty ballad that sees the first real control of Lael’s softer voice and “In Time” (my personal fave) has a nice slinky feel, a strong lyric, well-produced piano and wonderful percussion from Daniel Sadownick.
The lady manages a great bluesy read of Hall and Oates’ “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” (so great in fact, Summer’s was picked as the buzz track to watch out for by the KingsOfAR.com). “Kiss And Tell” is another fine grove with a very commercial chorus. “What Do I Know (About Love)” and “Look Around” are solid MOR hits weaving nice textural grooves. Her last, “Unconditionally,” is a soft acoustic and piano ballad ender with a deep lyric.
Check out Lael Summer, and get in on this soulful lady with the big voice.