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Review: Lea Michele 'Louder' to be released March 4

Kevin Carter, singer/actress Lea Michele, Steve Resnick and Aimie Vaughan attend the 'Louder' album playback and Q + A with Lea Michele at Pulse Recording on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Carter, singer/actress Lea Michele, Steve Resnick and Aimie Vaughan attend the 'Louder' album playback and Q + A with Lea Michele at Pulse Recording on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.Photo by Christopher Polk

Lea Michele Louder

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Lea Michele from Glee is releasing her first studio album on March 4 in the United States. “Louder” is a collection pop songs that somehow have worked with her more theater -like vocals. Michele released “Cannonball,” the lead single, in December and released “What Is Love?” from the deluxe edition with preorder.

“Louder” isn’t anything really dramatic or unique in the sense of pop music but what Lea Michele has going for her is her gigantic pipes. In her single “Cannonball” she declares her determination to start anew and “fly like a cannonball” and so do her vocals. It is very Glee-ish but a solid try to break out on her own written by Sia.

There isn’t many tracks on the new set that really stand out and make you say wow because if you’ve seen her perform on the FOX series it’s everything you’d expect it to be. “Battlefield” is an exception. As you picture her theatrically approaching the front of the stage, she has a rawness in her voice in the ballad lead by a piano melody. “You and I, we have to let each other go/ We keep holding on but we both know/ What seemed like a good idea has turned into a battlefield” she sings as the main hook of the song.

“What Is Love?” is maybe the strongest song on the 14-song deluxe edition. The chorus is big and dramatic in a Céline Dion style with high notes, power and beautiful melodies that flow together effortlessly.

“If You Say So” was co-written a week after the passing of real-life boyfriend Cory Monteith. The song describes the way she felt about their relationship and what she’s longing for. Cory Monteith passed away last year from a drug overdose and Michele took it hard.

There aren’t many up-tempo tracks but “Don’t Let Go” has an exciting dance beat and represents what simple pop songwriting can do for a tune like this. The title track “Louder” doesn’t capture the same essence as “Don’t Let Go” as an up-tempo track but still retains that pop sensibility.

All in all the album is not bad for a debut effort for Lea Michele but it could have had more prominent writers on the album to strengthen the set. It's lacking an overall excitement and that's not what she needs to compete in the pop market among the likes of Katy Perry and Ke$ha.

Download this: “Cannonball,” “Battlefield,” “Empty Handed,” “Thousand Needles”