Release Date: Mar 4, 2014
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Teen Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock
Lea Michele is not a natural pop star. A theater kid who appeared on Broadway before she was 10, Michele is blessed with a powerful voice designed for a particular kind of stage: the theater, not the club. Her role as Rachel Berry on Glee disguised this flaw by splitting the difference between pop and stage, but even when she was singing chart hits on that Fox television series, it seemed clear that both Berry and Michele were bound for the Great White Way, not MTV.
Having a No. 1 album on the Billboard charts isn’t quite the impressive feat that it used to be. Given the abysmal black hole that album sales numbers have become, managing a debut in the No. 1 position is pretty much a guarantee for any high-profile mainstream artist. Having said that, entering ….
As Broadway-bound Rachel Berry, Lea Michele was the brassy soprano on Glee's two highest-charting songs. But her attempt at breaking out as a solo artist has been rocky – lead single "Cannonball" sank like one – and this album of insta-dated EDM-pop anthems and half-cocked bass drops probably won't help her cause. The songs about love's ups and downs have a few memorable lyrics ("My heart's too drunk to drive"), but not nearly enough, and Michele's show-tune-style belting is a little too perfect for today's pop charts.
On Glee, Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry is an overly determined perfectionist with incredible pipes—but she shows enough self-doubt and dorkiness to humanize her robotic willpower. Louder, Michele’s debut solo album under her own name, does feature her distinctive talent as a vocalist. But the record is caught in an unfortunate stylistic limbo between fun-loving, youthful pop and the maturity of adult contemporary artists.
Lea Michele“Louder”(Columbia Records)2 Stars The title of Lea Michele’s first solo album, “Louder,” doubles as a warning.. If you thought she was loud before, gird yourself. In order to listen without suffering permanent damage, you’ll need earplugs, a safety harness and, for all I know ….
If it seems long overdue for “Glee” star Lea Michele to be putting out her debut album — several of her costars including Matthew Morrison, a.k.a. Mr. Schuester, have already done so — she certainly makes up for it with the scope of “Louder.” The Broadway veteran (“Spring Awakening,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Ragtime”) puts her mighty soprano through its paces on bouncy dance tracks, soaring ballads, and midtempo pop tunes where she straddles the line, mostly comfortably, between Katy Perry and Celine Dion.