Lael Summer is a songwriter who grew up in New York City. She experienced a very musical upbringing which included her first performance at 10 years old. She graduated from the Thornton School of Music’s Popular Music Program last year, while also releasing an EP. She plans to release her latest work Life In Color at the end of this month.

“Nothing Better” is the first track, and easily the weakest song on the album. The instruments are oddly mixed, making it difficult to decipher them and the lyrics are quite cheesy. Despite this, Summer’s voice shines through providing some relief.

“Wires” and “Unavailable” completely change the mood. The former is a slow, rocky number that’s slightly reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” while the latter has a funk, soul influence with a great horn section. Once again, Summer’s voice continues to impress. “Life in Color” is another funky number with a horn section. There’s a lovely, tight groove between the rhythm section.

“Count My Blessings” is a sombre acoustic number and gives an interesting change of pace. The song features guitar that’s played in a flamenco style and the string section really spices things up. Vocally, this is probably the highlight, with heartfelt singing and great harmonies.

The final track is “Dream Machine”. It’s an electronic track that feels slightly out of place, and it’s a strange note to end things on.

All in all, Life In Color has some great numbers on it. Unfortunately, there are several songs that feel out of place, somewhat messing with the flow. When this EP does shine though, it’s a highly enjoyable affair.

Live gigs editor at Pure M - Contact: "Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Zappa