CD REVIEW: Elly K - "Intangible"
By Gian F - 02/21/2004 - 04:53 PM EST
Artist: Elly K
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening
Sounds Like: Amy Grant
Technical Grade: 7
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 9
Best Songs: Velvet, Breathe Me In, Last Goodbye, Up & Down
Weakness: Needs more variation
CD Review: I have always been partial to ballads. A ballad is to a singer what a solo is to a musician: a chance to shine. That's exactly what Elly K, a singer, songwriter, and pianist from LA did throughout this entire project while displaying a definitive style, a strong identity, and a seemingly natural talent for good songwriting.
Two of the best songs on the CD, "Velvet" and "Breathe Me In," insightfully capture the vulnerability, exhilaration, and optimism of falling in love. Elly's finely tuned voice conveys genuine sincerity and conviction that you can almost feel coming through your speakers. These are the kind of songs that you just can't turn off...even when they are done playing. Because Elly has toured with Joe Cocker, and graduated from USC in opera and composition, you would expect her to be vocally and musically adept, but it's her gift of expression that's unexpectedly surprising...and endearing.
While her singing, songwriting, and musicianship are well developed, there is a correctable commercial element that's lacking: diversity. One of the most important songs on this project was "Up & Down." It was supposed to target hip audiences with the song's upbeat/semi-urban production. Despite Elly's attempt at being sassy, the track falls a bit short in terms of reaching the quality level of the ballads on the project, but the song does successfully add some much needed variation and depth to an otherwise mellow line up; a line up that will satisfy most adults who can appreciate an artist who accurately documents and poignantly conveys the love experience with qualities that are, well...intangible.
Advice: Collaborate! Alad Bagge is a good producer, but I would like to see you collaborate with an edgier producer who will expand your musical boundaries, increase your commercial appeal, and further highlight your essence. The AC/Easy Listening audience is a tough one to crack. The format is dominated by established artists but you can promote your songs by getting them into movie soundtracks (I recommend "Velvet" and "Breathe Me In" or possibly "Last Goodbye"). Find a music licensing company such as nomamusic.com or taxi.com to help you accomplish this.
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