Monday, February 18, 2013

bevlove - 2012 - happily ever after.

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Debuts are a tricky business; go too far and you risk alienating your audience before you even begin, but dial things down and you may never even find an audience. Detroit-based R&B/soul outfit bevlove’s first release, however, brims with confidence, charm, and creativity. happily ever after. is split evenly between rousing crowdpleasers and seductive slow-jams, and bevlove inspires both enthusiasm and introspection in equal turns. The first thing it has going for it is a playful, dynamic instrumental ensemble: “fired up,” for example, lives on handclaps fresh off the playground and blasts of tuba; even when the track has the balls to sample audience cheers, the bravado feels entirely earned. bevlove’s second weapon is a powerhouse vocal, with which she radiates charisma and demonstrates a relatable vulnerability. Even better, she understands that the two states aren’t mutually exclusive, best exemplified on the captivating “no better than this” with an attitude somewhere between Janelle Monae and Beyonce. The plaintive piano-led ballad “where do you sleep?” lives on the strength of her haunted performance: “I won’t go on living without you,” she cries, yet the tone is not one of despair but one of empowerment. So there’s a lot to like here: unfortunately, while happily ever after. is very well-made, it’s not terribly cohesive, serving more as a grab-bag of bevlove than a polished representation of what she really stands for. The brassy, hip-hop “amnesia,” for example, is strong on its own merits but downright baffling sandwiched between “where do you sleep?” and the hushed, downtempo “boundless.” All in all, though, debut acts rarely come as full-formed as this, and bevlove is certainly one to treasure if the quality of happily ever after. is any indication.

1 comment:

  1. I love happily ever after. The lyrics are great. Beautiful Bev.