Artist: Laura Cheadle
Produced by: 9 South Productions
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Music has been in Laura Cheadle’s blood since age five, when she began singing and playing piano in her hometown of Pitman, NJ. Touring with her family along with her twin brothers, Laura got her first taste of the music industry, performing in local venues, restaurants, etc. Along the way, she learned how to play the drums and the guitar.
It didn’t take long for Laura Cheadle’s musical career to pick up speed. By 2003, Laura Cheadle became quite a name in the local coffeehouse scene, her popularity launching an acoustic album, Maybe One Day. By 2004, she was performing on national radio and at a VH1 Save the Music Benefit Concert.
Laura’s latest album, Live On, is produced by 9 South Productions, a family owned studio. The album is a family affair, featuring Laura on lead and background vocals and acoustic guitars, J.S. Cheadle on piano, keyboards, guitar, bass and background vocals, Jim Lee Cheadle on electric guitars. Her family even had a hand in writing some of the songs with Laura. Various other artists aided in percussions and other instruments on the album, but it was nice to see a family truly believing in a sibling’s artistry and willing to give that sibling every ounce of assistance in furthering their career.
Laura Cheadle’s sound is a mixture of pop, soul, funk and jazz. Each track on the album gives the listener a taste of each genre. Laura Cheadle’s voice is rich and soulful, well suited to the funk, jazz and pop genres. The music found on Live On is amazing all by itself. Laura’s vocals add just that much flavor to the mix. Whoever mixed this album did an excellent job, blending the background vocals perfectly with the leads.
In her lyrics, Laura Cheadle speaks of things all listeners can relate to - finding love, desire, losing love and keeping true to yourself. My favorite tracks are heavily steeped in pop and funk. Constantly is a pop love song that I expect to see some airplay in the near future. Funk Is Dead is simply a fun song with an extremely funky sound. I also liked the scene painted by the opening lyrics in the song In the AM. Who couldn’t relate to finally finding that special someone and the joy it brings to see them lying beside you in the morning.
Although I feel the ballads could use some work in the lyrics department, I feel that lyrical sophistication will come in time. The vocal and musical sound of Laura Cheadle is as professional as they come and I wonder why I haven’t heard more from this singer on mainstream radio. Live On is a terrific start toward that path.