Love Will Find a Way
Lola Bleu, aka twenty-two-year-old R&B singer Janell McCracken, has a fine voice, so it’s a shame she doesn’t have better material to showcase it on her debut album, Love Will Find a Way. While some of the songs have catchy melodies, excessive instrumentation detracts from and sometimes obscures Bleu’s voice. A more restrained approach would have conveyed pathos on the soul-searching numbers but often emotion is lost in a wall of sound.
A phone call between two friends, in which one complains about feeling unsatisfied in her relationship, sets up the story. The other tracks cover various stages of a romantic relationship: fantasizing about a seemingly unreachable man (“Hate to Wake Up”), being stuck in a dysfunctional relationship (“Deep Pain”), breaking up in an empowering way (“So Over You”), and finding love again (“I Found You”).
Despite the production flaws, Bleu shows promise on both fast-paced dance tracks and reflective slow songs. “Get Away” is a standout; the doubled vocals and dance beat will have you tapping your toes and moving your shoulders, and it is less crowded instrumentally. The hand-clapping rhythm of “So Over You” will also stick in your head. Bleu’s solid delivery of two more heartfelt songs that hint that her talents may be best suited for ballads. Piano and strings distinguish “Where Do We Go from Here,” a mature, recrimination-free look at a stalled romantic relationship. “Don’t get me wrong, I love being around you… but it seems our flame has suddenly disappeared,” she sings. The introspective lyrics of “A Little Hope,” which is anchored by piano and electric guitar, also ring true.
Bleu’s persona and vocals are reminiscent of Rihanna and one hopes she will find material worthy of her musical gifts. She is a promising singer and deserves to have the spotlight shine on her talent.