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CD REVIEW: Lea Marie - Undercover Lover

By: Cyrus Rhodes


"artist to watch in 2012"







Artist: Lea Marie
Album: Undercover Lover
Label: Independent Artist

Genre: Dance, Pop, Power-Pop
Sounds Like: Brittany Spears, Pixie Lott, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez.

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/ Musicianship Grade: 8/10

Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Undercover Lover, Take Me for a Ride

Weakness: Short Sided CD  




Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Lea Marie's next release Undercover Lover is due out in May 2012. You may remember Lea Marie as one of the more memorable American Idol contestants (2009). Lea Marie has made a name for herself releasing multiple albums thus far and making a name for herself within the Recording Industry as a premier Independent Artist.   

The CD kicks things off with the “Take me for a Ride” a catchy intro piece that serves up hooky melodic pop groove against driving dance rhythm, seductive lyrical content against passionate vocal delivery from Marie.  Track 2 “Mi Chico Latino” serves up a spicy Latin-Pop ditty with thick as brick rhythm section, heartfelt vocals against a grand slam of a chorus making for an impressive follow up groove. Track 3, the title keeps things moving in the right direction by combining the perfect balance of pop, dance rock and infectious power-pop. The CD gets off the ground solidly serving up 3 hot tracks in a row. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic musical acts as Brittany Spears, Pixie Lott, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, and Selena Gomez. The music itself combines classic elements of catchy power pop, rock, and popular dance pop. You will also notice synthetic musical elements layered everywhere from solid low-end rhythms and beats, strings, horns, keyboard accents, well placed soundscapes and lush harmonies. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive songwriting, world class grooves via an impressive “total package” front from Marie. Now zeroing in now on Marie's voice: it goes down smooth and has a crystal clear vibrato and impressive falsetto. She's got mojo and makes the vital (singer to listener) emotional connection with her vocals and sex appeal. If she just so happened to write all these songs well she could be bigger than any of us realize at the moment. From heartfelt “Tuning Me On” to hooky “Your Brother’s Girl” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 6 “In Another Life” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD. It’s fair to say the catalogue is a bit short offering just 6 songs to the line-up. I wish there were maybe 4-5 more tracks.  

Undercover Lover from Lea Marie showcases a Top Flight Independent artist from the LA area. Let me go on record and say Lea Marie is one artist to watch in 2012. It's an impressive catalogue of music that's easy to groove to, highly marketable, uplifting and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t a weak piece on this entire 6 song catalogue. All pieces are short and sweet musical experiences, each one possessing its own signature groove and musical personality to call its own. The writing and singing abilities of Marie are rock solid and the melodies and harmonies are well crafted and catchy. Last but not least the vocal presence from Lea Marie just makes the whole thing work by being infectious and seductive. It’s obvious she’s just letting all hang out musically by being herself. Perhaps it’s safe to say the American Idol judges got this one wrong. If you ask me – I think they did!

Cyrus Rhodes