Review : Silvia Olari “There Is Something About You” by Edmund Barker

To quote Paul McCartney, “you’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs, but I look
around and see it isn’t so.” The venerable tradition of the love song is one that transcends language and
culture, enduring in many different forms and genres. Silvia Olari’s new album is a testament to the
emotional power of the sort of silly love songs McCartney paid tribute to, and proof that adhering to an
old formula doesn’t automatically mean staleness. The Italian songstress had just put out the record
“There Is Something About You,” with ten songs showing the influence of both classic R&B and neo-soul acts like Alicia Keys. Produced by Bjorn Johansson, “There Is Something About You” is a sonically
delightful piece of music, touching on genres ranging from disco to ‘80s sophisti-pop. Olari brings to the
songs a wonderful genuineness and passion, selling every lyric about head-over-heels romance with
total conviction.

The record begins with a title track, which immediately envelops the listener in a warm blanket of retro
soul production—a pleasant mix of horns, strings, piano, and a soft bassline. Olari’s voice really carries
the song, switching from breathy coolness to diva-like intensity at a moment’s notice. “There Is
Something About You” is a classic old school love ballad, following a singer who’s at a loss for words with
a great romance. “The Reason”, another early track, is a similarly tender tune, which starts slow and
builds into a triumphant electric guitar bit. The next song after that, “Pure Joy”, is a change of pace and
probably my favorite track on the album. While I do like slow-paced R&B, a giddy disco-flavored dance tune is one of the easiest ways to get on my good side. “Pure Joy” is, well, pure joy, complemented by a hooky groove and the sense of majesty that the Studio 54 era brought. We’re talking kicky snare beats,
energized strings, touches of synth—the 70s aesthetic is worn through and through, and I couldn’t be
more here for it. It simultaneously brings to mind classic disco like Donna Summers and later revivers of
the style like Jamiroquai, while being just an excellent dance song. It also comes with perhaps my
favorite lyric on the record–“It’s a force to be reckoned with, a loyal friend at your side.” “A Woman In
Love”, which is not actually a Barbara Streisand cover, returns to the slow-paced R&B spirit of most of
the disc. It’s also a highlight song, showing Olari’s vocal range against a catchy horn accompaniment.
“Stars In The Sky”, coming after that, makes good use of the early 80s-esque synth on the album to have
a dreamy feel.

There are some parts on “There Is Something About You” that remind me of Sade, and I wouldn’t dare
to make that comparison lightly. The track “Give of Your Time” is an example of what I’m talking about,
with a mix of moody piano and upbeat groove that feels like the early ‘80s. But more importantly, Olari
has an irresistible sincerity and energy in her lyrics that makes me think of Sade, making it more than
worth a listen.

4/5 stars

Follow Silvia Olari on Twitter @silviaolari

Official Website https://www.silviaolari.it

Review : Andy Michaels “Revisited” by M. Lezjuande

Though Andy Michaels belongs in the adult contemporary genre by society’s standards, his
newest album, Revisited, released on February 8 th of this year, expands beyond this genre. Every
melodious song on this album is beautifully unique in its distinctiveness. They are practically
separate worlds that are defined with messages that everyone, even children, can walk away
from. Forget about the messages being of the mature or X-rated nature because that couldn’t be
farther from the truth. Instead, these messages deal with everything from a better “tomorrow” to
appreciation to love to grief and loss. These defined messages are just one aspect that makes this
album phenomenal. The second aspect has everything to do with Michaels’s indirectness…and
directness.

Michaels has the ability to make his songs about particular subjects…without being direct. For
example, consider Where are you Now, one of his personally written masterpieces. Judging from
the lyrics, it’s apparent that Michaels is referring to a child, perhaps his child, that he lost due to
death. But, on the other side, he could be referring to a child that someone close to him has lost.
This analysis alone is what makes this song emotionally mysterious. In other words, the song’s
meaning would be left to the listener’s mind’s imagination.

In addition to Michaels’s incredible indirectness, he also has a way with poetry and using it to its
advantage. Take, for example, Home, which tells the story of what home means to him, both
figuratively and personally. Though there was more than one aspect utilized in this song, the
“metaphorical” aspect is what made it epic. It’s very rare for a songwriter to compare the “home”
to what “sea” is like, hence the lyric: “Home is where the sea is calling me.” This is perhaps the
one song, in which Michaels becomes direct about the message he’s conveying…but direct in a
peculiar manner. As mentioned before, Michaels indirectness is what makes this album
phenomenal. But, it’s also his subtle directness in songs, like Home, that gives this album the
touch of magic that it deserves.

The great thing about this album is Michaels’s utilization of style versatility. It’s borderline impossible
to fit Michaels in one genre because he doesn’t belong in one genre, especially not in the adult
contemporary genre. In other words, Michaels utilizes (and combines) styles of soft rock
(acoustics), subtle pop and gospel, and international sounds. What’s meant by international
sounds? Well, take Back to Me, for example. This is one of the album’s most memorable songs,
due to its Egyptian and Asian combined sounds. It’s enough to make any listener forget that they
are listening to an album that society limits to one genre strictly because of it. For an artist like

Michaels, that’s something to be proud of.

Overall, Revisited is one of 2018’s must-hear indie albums. As an all-around music fanatic,
you’ll want to “revisit” it time and time again.

Social media links are
https://www.instagram.com/andymichaelsmusic/
https://twitter.com/AndysMusicCo

https://www.facebook.com/andymichaelsmusicpage/

And Youtube videos
https://youtu.be/aI311P67fMw Where are you Now
https://youtu.be/NZbJ3n-FPko Angel
https://youtu.be/9EZp4gEhi_g Just Because You Love Someone
https://youtu.be/6JrTkbXJAU0 White Lies
https://youtu.be/FI_0GBAEqUM I just Want to be the One