It all starts with opener Life Remains The Same which deals about the daily routines that everyone knows. Genevieve, with her unique vocal style crosstracks through different styles like country/americana with a touch of soul, as well as rock & roll. This makes for a song that gets better and better as it goes along and the enthusiastic approach makes Life Remains The Same a good opener that promises nothing but good for what’s to come. And what’s coming is definitely good, especially since Genevieve follows up with The Way You Need Me which is a sweet piano song that explores the feelings of love in many directions. The emotional vocal performance, in combination with the clean and subtle keys provides for a love ballad that meets the high standards that have been set by artists like Maria Mena, Ilse deLange & Sarah McLachlan. The breaks in the vocals and the sudden accents of the piano melody make The Way You Need Me an absolute highlight.
In Still Waters, the breezy, folky melody plays an important part and Genevieve allows the listener to develop a personal connection through the song’s intimate sound. And while the song starts out a little easy, it gets catchier as it continues and it has the talent of slowly sticking in your head a little more everytime you hear it. A beautiful arrangement and a very strong delivery.
And as we continue to listen, we arrive at the title track. Back To LA is a more uptempo song that makes for a good radio single. The tougher vocals and edgier music give the song some more balls too. It is a good mix of pop, rock & americana with touches of other genres hidden below the surface. It’s a track that has some very recognizable little parts and could definitely mean good things for this up and coming artist. Especially with the made-for radio Move Along following. While it’s not necessarily as uptempo as you’d expect it has a good mix and production and a chorus that is as catchy as the sun is hot. If there is a real hit on this album, it might just be this song. After these two radio candidates, Genevieve continues strong with the mysterious song The Spy. It has some 70s influences as well as influences that I associate with (south)eastern europe, especially due to the strings and mystique in the song. We should also mention that the classical influences in this song give it a more full sound and that Genevieve perfectly incorporates everything in this excellent song. She proves to be not only a great vocalist but also a very respectable songsmith.
After the more bombastic The Spy, Genevieve continues with the lighter piano song Talk To Me which might be one of her signature tracks, as the vocals reach the highest level on the whole CD and the emotional and personal delivery give this song such a strong sense and meaning to the listener. From the first notes and first words, I connected to this song. In the tradition of Sarah McLaughlin & Carole King, Genevieve is able to become one with the song and lift it to such a high level that makes it hard for her to top herself on this CD and sets high expectations for a possible follow up.
The breathy, folky Just As Long As You’re There is slightly more uptempo and carries on very nicely and has definite radio potential. Once again Genevieve’s vocal presence is stellar and in the build up she, again, shows her skills as a songwriter. The climax in the chorus makes for extra body in the song and if radio doesn’t pick up on this I would be very surprised. After the song is over, the record eases comfortably in the next song, Jim Bean. It carries on in the same general genre, with maybe a little more distinct country undertone. The gutsy vocals and gritty melody give this song a more rootsy character and it shows another side of this musician’s talent.
Just like with Move Along, Genevieve finds that distinct sound that radio seems to embrace as of lately on Meant To Love You allthough you can hear more of a folky undertone in this song. With strong lyrics and superb vocals Genevieve gets the best out of this arrangement and delivers another quality track on this CD.
The more soulful I’m Going Down has some R&B influences too, but with interesting choice of instruments and her unique vocal sound, Genevieve makes this song sound very contemporary. And the harmonica provides for some nice contrast.
And then we have reached the end of this album already. It went by in a flash, but Genevieve makes sure to leave us on a high note, as The Bayou is one of the albums strongest tracks, with an epic build up and perhaps the best musical arrangement of all the songs on this great album.
With “Back To L.A.”, Genevieve shows she’s ready to break through to the bigger audiences and play shows all over the world. The unique vocal style and very strong songwriting are ingredients that make Genevieve one of the more promising acts I’ve come across in the past years. I strongly recommend you purchase this album and support Genevieve’s music so there will be much more for us to enjoy in the future.