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Leerone
Imaginary Biographies
(self-released)
www.leerone.com


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 it all.

-Susan Frances


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