What is it about Madeline Laine that sets her apart from all of the other fresh-faced chanteuses that seem to pop up year after year? For me, it’s that I’ve been able to watch her develop into the confident performer that belies her young years.
I first encountered her via a shaky video that her proud father showed me on his smartphone. Honestly, I had a frozen smile on my face as I was sure it was going to be another awkward encounter, but as the minutes ticked on, I grabbed the phone from his hand so I could hear her beautiful voice better.
After that, I caught her live and a local club, and when I discovered that she was working on her first EP, David, I quickly arranged to get an early copy. Simply put, Madeline Laine has a gorgeous voice and an inviting stage presence. She doesn’t sing the blues, but my God, can she sing everything else!
This EP truly reflects where she is at this stage in her career. Laine wrote all four songs as well as handling the lead vocals and playing the piano and ukulele. While there are a few rough moments in the songwriting, that is a skill that will continue to grow as she matures, and there are plenty of indications that she is on the right track.
She opens the EP with Tumble, a song that features her vocals and piano. It’s a song of young angst and she pours her emotions into it. While there is some percussion in the song, it might have benefitted from a slightly different orchestration, but that’s something that may develop with more experimentation in the future. It’s a good song, and a nice opening salvo.
Laine follows up with the title track, David. Here she sings a light, bouncy song that has the possibility of airplay. I think this one has the potential of going viral and the song shows off the playfulness of her voice.
After that is Oh No, with a bass opening that gives the song a slightly more ominous feel than Laine established with the two previous songs. Her voice seems very comfortable in this mysterious jazzy vein. I know she’s trying different styles to find her true voice, and if this song is any indication, she could find a great home among the best jazz singers.
Laine ends the EP with my favorite song from the group, Caffeine & Nicotine. Maybe because both of those ingredients have played a big part in my own life. The song is one with a decent hook that I found infectious. Yes, I will admit to humming the number for several hours after I first heard it.
Overall, the EP is fun and shows a young performer at the beginning of what could become a great career. I don’t possess a crystal ball that will guarantee that Madeline Laine will become a big star, but I do recognize talent when I see it, and believe me, this young lady has got a lot of it. I hope that more people will take a chance on this EP (available at her website: http://www.madelinelaine.com/home.html), or better yet, catch her live so you can see just how good she is.