You Sing, I Write: Album Review: June Shellene's "Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Album Review: June Shellene's "Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends"

With soulful vocals, June Shellene impresses on latest release, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. No newcomer to the music scene, first album The Lost Art of Love, won two achievement awards from Billboard Magazine. Additionally, her songs have been covered by numerous artists, including jazz musicians and Broadway acts. A powerful vocalist, Shellene satisfies the listener as she blends jazz, blues and soul on Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. 

Self-produced with bassist Jim Cox, the 13-track album combines delicate piano, fitting percussion and soulful saxophone features throughout. Despite the talented musical accompaniment, it is Shellene’s powerful vocals that leave the greatest impact. Her singing style blends well with the music, soaring at the perfect moment and fading to a whisper when she sees fit. Whether she’s singing about things she wishes life would present her on “Not Good Enough Blues” or belting out her emotions in between horn features on “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down,” Shellene’s talent is undeniable.

Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends begins with the six-minute long title track. A glimpse of what’s to come on the remaining 12 songs, Shellene’s voice accentuates the piano, bowed bass and percussion accompaniment. The seductive “Make a Little Time for Love,” brings to mind Rosemary Clooney’s infamous “Mambo Italiano.” With upbeat percussion and a telling European vibe that transports the listener back in time, it is a song easily enjoyed on repeat. The standout track combines accordion, bass and percussion alongside Shellene’s pitch-perfect singing.

Though the piano is the chief instrument heard on most of the album, additional saxophone and horn interludes add diversity. “Lincoln Avenue” showcases Shellene’s sultry singing style combined with soulful saxophone while “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down” switches gears with a slow story-like introduction with trumpet and clarinet features.

“Tattoo” is a refreshing change from previous songs. Not a complete escape from her roots, the track showcases a rustic country vibe. While previous songs could easily be envisioned in a jazz club, “Tattoo” has a telling southern influence that brings to mind soul music championed in Memphis.

A voice beyond compare, Shellene’s latest release embodies a timeless quality that brings to mind numerous jazz greats before her. An album that no doubt will stand the test of time, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends, demonstrates her prowess as a singer and pianist. Continuously evoking emotion throughout each track, one can hear her passion for music on each song and only wonder at the power her next album will evoke.

For more on June, visit her on ReverbNation.

1 comment:

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