Soulful and tuneful, Lael Summer's Burden to Bear is a funky journey. 12 tracks full of pizazz and impressive grooves, Summer's vocals melt within the music creating an energetic and jazzy experience for the listener. The opener "I Need A Man" provides a fresh vibe as Summer professes exactly what she needs. "You're So Small" showcases a sassier Summer while still keeping with the eclectic collage presented throughout the album. "In Time" is smooth and embeds itself into the mind of the listener making it one among many noteworthy pieces. Summer's vocals are soothing and delicate here almost hypnotic.
On "Do What You Want, Be What You Are," Summer delivers a heartfelt take on a Hall & Oates cut that smolders with passionate fervor and "Unconditionally" moves into the speakers with a soft rock and bluesy feeling similar to Norah Jones or Joss Stone. The finale, "The Good Fight" offers a coffeehouse tone with its guitars and Summer capitalizing on the encouraging and motivational lyrics with her voice.
Lael Summer added that "Burden to Bear is especially precious to me because it is my first album; it's my baby. During the writing process I had the freedom to explore all these facets of my identity I never really acknowledged or could make sense of. I picked through my thoughts, my dreams, my nightmares, conversations, observations and memories and used the fragments of my life to piece together something I could share with others." Released on January 21, Burden to Bear is not to be missed and will undoubtedly have music listeners buzzing to see where Summer will go from here.
Final Grade: A
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