JEAN KELLEY @JeanKelleyMusic was a top 20 contestant on Season 7 of NBC’s reality singing competition “The Voice.” The music of Kelley is a wonderful combination of pop and soul.
“Stacking Stones” is her new lyric-driving and powerful single.
We had a listen:
This is gospel-influenced, with an urgent bar-piano thump and happy-clap chapel rhythms.
There is an exuberance in the voice that is a real treat, and the exciting satin texturees might make you purr with delight. There are also some heady improvisational trills thrown-in for good measure.
You will love the chorus — and will be able to admire the fact that this performance is polished to perfection — but is it revolutionary or renegade?
Er, no. Kelley sticks to the Emmy Award-winning format that is expected of artists during battle-rounds.
Kelley’s blockbuster vocal might well send your pulse racing into the stratosphere. It wil certainly please the voice-trainers — but does her performance raise the bar in terms of experimentalism?
As an audience, we seem to identify with vulnerability. Think of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, or more recently Amy.
But on “Stacking Stones” — despite what the title implies — there is no suggestion of toil or strain. You might say that surely that’s a good thing for a singer? And yes, it is an admirable trait in stage-school and musical theater…
But the best soul-singers in the world vividly parade their hesitant victory over weaknesses and their constant struggle with tribulation.
This is polished and professional… We just wish it was a bit more nervous, that’s all …