In a clear, alluring voice that pulls you into the driving beat, Reni Lane sings, "There's a time, there's a place for us..." It is a fitting beginning to her debut album, and a strong step into the ring by a heavyweight pop contender, a musical powerhouse, whose time is now. Powerhouse? With her orange hair, and tall quirky mystique you might not expect this description, but one listen to her record and powerhouse becomes a most apropos moniker.
The 11 songs from her fall 2009 Custard/Universal Motown release showcase not only her unique character and voice, but also her significant skill at storytelling. The maturity of her songwriting choices is rare for an artist of any age, and especially so for one so young. Reni exudes class and style in her music, while seducing the inner-city crowd with her eclectic personality and edgy stage banter.
Her record begins with the instantly accessible, up-tempo "Place for Us", a song so catchy it flies off the deck in search of a radio. Featured on the season premiere of the hit Showtime drama, "The L Word," the song provided a hard hitting soundtrack to the episode's climax. Her straight delivery and universal lyrics strike the perfect chord. The modern production, vocal layering, and melody of the chorus stick in your head after only one listen and refuse to leave.
On "You Are Here", pop sensibility, clever lyrics, and a sublime production come together to make Reni's trademark vocal style shine. Her unique verse phrasing grabs you instantly, and the undeniable hook of the chorus really shows off a great sense of melody.
"We Don't Forget" opens with a laugh that belies her sardonic recounting of a high school party aftermath. Her voice draws you in, like she's singing to you and you alone, while the sparse open feel of the instrumentation perfectly matches the unfeigned delivery.
"Even You", like many of her songs is hard to label. Is it pop, rock, alternative? Reni has that Bowie-like quality of melding all her influences together into her music, and on this song she rides the beat like a kid on a merry go-round. The dynamic production lifts you up off the ground, while positive lyrics and enthusiastic vocal delivery keep you there floating. Like many of Reni's songs it just makes you feel good.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
-Esprit in Flatiron: Saturday, June 20th, 4:00PM
110 5th Avenue // NYC
-Esprit in Rockefeller Center: Saturday, June 27th, 3:00PM
600 5th Avenue // NYC
-Best Buy, July 17th 5PM (23rd and 6th Ave // NYC)
-Highline Ballroom, July 23 // 7:30PM // NYC
-Best Buy, July 24th 5PM (23rd and 6th Ave // NYC)
-Iota, July 31st (Arlington, VA -details to follow)
-August 1st PHILADELPHIA (unconfirmed)