Susan Laurenzi CD-Finally

You probably haven't heard of Susan Laurenzi before but that's not surprising since this is her first CD. I don't usually use this blog to review or promote new music, however, this album is a breath of fresh air among the morass of digitized, heavily compressed, overly produced, and lyrically insignificant tunes that is the staple of today's music industry. And I admit it's a shameless plug because Susan is a close, personal friend and I have watched what she has gone through the last several years in an effort to deliver this baby. Indy artists need a lot more than good songs and talent, they have to have serious perseverance and sacrifice, especially of the monetary kind.

Rich in the Soul is comprised of 11 well-crafted songs with lyrics that are identifiable to all of us, as they weave through the human experience of love, yearning, desire, betrayal, and just trying to figure out how to be a good person in this crazy and complicated world.

Susan's vision from the beginning was to record the songs as if it were live, so when you listen to the album you feel you could be sitting in a small club listening to her perform right in front of you. In this, the album is a stellar achievement. It's a relaxing journey and a pleasure to just listen to songs without a full-on production that is more about the producer and less about the songwriter. I know how Susan struggled to get the song track just right, and like albums of the 70's, this CD has a definite arch that naturally flows from the opening bongo rhythm to the final strains of the string section as it fades into the ether.

When arranging these songs, she considered the space between the notes just as relevant as the actual notes themselves. There are some very simple and tasty backing tracks from the guitar, keys and violin, which she effectively uses to help tell her story. She effortless floats between folk, rock, blues, a little R&B, and a smidgen of pop. She's a fresh voice that can not be compartmentalized and easily categorized.

At the top of my entry, I have a link to Susan's site. She has the entire album available for download, payable via Paypal. She even has the songs available for streaming so you can hear a good portion of each track before buying. I highly encourage you to order the CD from her site. It's only $12 and, of course, the tracks are lossless. You can always rip them on your own. On the site, the streams and downloaded tracks are 128kps. The entire album is currently available on iTunes in the DRM-free format (256 kbps AAC encoding).

If you live in Los Angeles, come out to Molly Malone's at 575 Fairfax on Thursday, February 19 for the CD Release Party. Susan will be performing the entire album live, in the way it was intended, from beginning to end. Be there by 7:30 for the best ticket in town since it's free admission.

Look me up and say hey. I'll be running around playing paparazzi.