Honey Larochelle has been all around the map, literally and figuratively. Her new album The Yes Feeling is the songstress’ debut album and much like Larochelle herself, it is all around the map. The album is a solid effort and it does a decent job of establishing to listeners that Larochelle can hold her own. Admittedly so, many of the tracks seem quiet formulaic. This is not a good thing but it is not necessarily a bad thing, but I will address this later. Larochelle proves that she can perform today’s music along with the best of them, but at the same time I felt as if there was not much there that was different or new.
Larochelle also utilizes her diverse talents to compile a very wide array of sounds. The album is a literal hodgepodge of styles.
Tracks like “Be Your Baby” and “Canadian Girl” are very current and have a neo soul/top 40 sound to them.
Funk fans will enjoy “Dear John” and “Heaven”. Both tracks have a tremendously classic funk sound. I could imagine watching Larochelle perform these tracks backed by the likes of Bootsy Collins or Shuggie Otis.
The Roberta Flack protégé shows what she has learned on tracks “Who’s Gonna Love You” and “The One That Got Away”. They have an old school feel to them, with laid back rhythms and strong vocals from Larochelle.
Most surprisingly, however, are the last two tracks on the album entitled “I Open My Heart” and “Fight for Him” which have a reggae vibe and a quick paced rock/funk/soul vibe, respectively. Both of these songs came completely out of leftfield and were unexpected. Refreshingly so. I feel as if these two songs were the very best tracks on the album.
Now earlier in this review I stated that I thought this album was formulaic. That is because each of these songs (and their diverse styles) are very structurally sound and they fit well into what we would expect from each of their respective genres.
Why is this good? You certainly have to applaud Larochelle’s ability to dabble in many different styles and pull them off effectively.
Why is this bad? None of the songs (save the last two tracks) really seemed to belong to her… as in I didn’t feel connected to them. At times I found it hard to get into the music, and when I did get into it, the pace and style flipped. That may simply be due to the order of the tracks so I would not take too much away from her for that.
Because Larochelle is able to perform so many styles, I would have liked to have seen her incorporate those styles into each other a bit more. She has the ability to impact today’s music and change how singers approach the art form.
Nevertheless, Larochelle definitely has what it takes and her debut is quite strong. If you can appreciate a talented vocalist with great range in vocal ability and style then I would absolutely recommend adding The Yes Feeling to your collection.