Singer, songwriter and pianist Leerone has a way about
her playing that moves like a ballerina - light on her feet and
able to move gracefully while performing bends and twirls that
project an evocative storyline which captures the audience's interest.
Leerone's first full-length album Imaginary Biographies,
produced by Christopher Fudurich (Jimmy Eat World,
Nada Surf), draws out the affable registers of Leerone's
voice, which have a striking purr similar to Nellie McKay.
The music has a modern Baroque-pop crystallization which presents
a lot of subliminally decorative nuances like springy accordion
jumps, billowy strings, and xylophone-toned chimes which tweak
the soft-pop harmonics. Leerone is a model alternative-pop artist,
her songs have the melodic feel of pop music but her artistic
edginess makes her a bit of a wild-child and a revolutionary bard.
Imaginary Biographies is like a collection of stories that
when stringed along create a short play that takes the audience
through a succession of scenes giving them insight into the protagonist
of each composition, making the album meaningful as well as entertaining.
You definitely will have the impression that Leerone bares her
soul in these songs just by the way her vocals swoop in and make
the melodies levitate. Her style is reflective of Broadway actress/singer
Frances Mercanti-Anthony in the way she holds the notes
and gives the lyrics a personality. The gentle swinging motions
of "To Fill The Void," "Rosie Lee," and "Share"
procure a lacy texture and a distinctly feminine touch. The dark
moods emitting from her piano keys project recessive figments
as if she is talking to herself, the part of herself which feels
lost when she recites, "I can't find peace on my own"
over and over again in "Junk/Peace Of Mind." Her voice
also dances alone in an aura of darkly toned piano keys in "Here
On Earth/The Opening" as she muses, "Everything is in
disarray/ Feeling guilty and ashamed/ I don't believe in Heaven
or Hell except for here on Earth." Leerone emotes a pathos
in her voice that seeks consoling arms, and this underlying sadness
deepens the audience's connection to the humanness in these songs.
The pivoting, child-like chimes of "Happy + Homemade"
act like pop-ups through the soft-pop harmonics, while the jubilant
accordion and gypsy-like tones of "Care For Some Whiskey"
are grounded in marching rhythms. The dramatic vocal hooks of
"Empty Houses" and "Bring It On" are reflective
of singer-songwriter Poe as the chambers of melodic crescendos
and ebbs coalesce acoustic strings and rock elements skillfully.
Leerone's vocals show a penchant for storytelling projecting a
play filled with drama and intense emotions. The track "Knocking"
really draws out this image with series of dramatic and pensive
riffs which show a similar vascillation to the way The Dresden
Dolls move their melodies. Leerone's vocal movements in this
track also resemble the cabaret stylistics of the Dolls' lead
singer Amanda Palmer, holding back at certain turns and
heaving strongly around others. The soft-pop elegance of the final
track "Life Could Be" leaves the final composite of
the story with the hope of something better.
Leerone's latest offering Imaginary Biographies is truly
a work of art with soft-pop sensibilities. Born in Israel, Leerone's
family moved to Los Angeles where she was raised and would settle
to pursue a life as a professional singer-songwriter. Her previous
records were two EP's, In This Life, On This Road (2003)
and Hail To The Queen (2005), which established her as
an indie artist. Still self-releasing her record, Leerone shows
honesty and an optimistic imagination in her songs. Her songs
emote a deep sadness but also the desire for a place where that
sadness can be vanquished. The album is like a play that outlines
the challenges and struggles in life, and by the ending it hopes
to find a resolution to the conflicting elements when Leerone
concludes with the track "Life Could Be." This says
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