Monday, October 24, 2016

Loren-Up All Night (1997)


I stayed up late tonight just so that I could serve up an especially sweet throwback treat for the r&b lovers! The sultry singer who only identifies herself as Loren is another fine voice whom I never got acquainted with back in the 90's; therefore, she was a virtual mystery to me as I prepared to stake out her only known album, "Up All Night". On the case as usual with these rarities that I target, confident that I was in for something really good the very moment I took in the superb beats to the opening cut, "Remember". I.....still.....remember.....way.....back.....when', Loren declares in the chorus, stylistically adding in a noticeable pause between each word as she reflects on how simple life was in the past (and really, any one of us listening to her reflections can relate and apply them to our own present, given the state of the world today in contrast to what it was a long time ago) while the funky, orchestral riffs stylistically spice up the music in the background. Loren wastes no time in getting close and personal on "Lights Out". Music down low, telephone off, a two-people party with them being the only ones starring in their own show—sounds like a long night of romancing to me! But then, her mood begins to shift on the nicely chilled slow number, "What Ya Hidin' In Your Brain?" (I like the catchiness of the title, plus the sass and attitude she puts on her delivery of the title lyrics in the chorus, demanding to know what the guy is thinking), and only worsens on through to "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" and "Go Your Own Way" (' if you can't get it right, if you're not around, I won't be down ', she confesses on this one). Then the pouring rains cast an even darker cloud on "Loverman", the first 'rain themed' song I have heard in a while that is not a seductively romantic, quiet storm tune, as Loren starts off by singing 'you used to be my loverman'. It's apparent that the pouring rain signifies her tears falling, but despite the sadness and the gloom, the haunting background music (particularly the funky jazz accompaniment) and her brilliant rising vocals make for a killer combination! The rain is pouring even heavier and the tears are still flowing on the follow-up number called "Tears", but I loved listening to all six minutes of the bitterness, particularly due to the twinkly sound of the stilled tones that play in sync with the beat. Finally, the tears are gone and the pain and troubles have gone away when Loren bounces back on the jam of liberation that is "I Feel Fine"—feeling fine and ready to spend some time with anyone who doesn't mind taking her on. And as if it were a ray of sunshine casting down and thawing the frozen state of her heart, the warming, upbeat vibe of "Secret Alphabet" is there to wrap up her all-nighter in a charming way:

1. Remember
2. Lights Out
3. Up All Night
4. In Too Deep
5. What Ya Hidin' In Your Brain?
6. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
7. Go Your Own Way
8. Loverman
9. Tears (Bitter Mix)
10. Interlude
11. I Feel Fine
12. Just A Dream
13. Secret Alphabet

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