Review: Elisa Korenne – Concrete
Some artists are great musicians, crafting sweeping, stirring arrangements that move the soul. Others rely on their songwriting abilities to do the same, letting their words conjure mental pictures that cut to the heart. And while there are some that manage to do both to varying degrees, it’s the rare breed that is great at both, tying truly great musical compositions together with lyrical prowess that shines.
Korenne’s story is one that reads backwards compared to many budding artists whose journeys have led them to the big city in search of fame and fortune. In fact, Korenne’s story found her moving from the busy streets of Brooklyn, New York to New York Mills, Minnesota, a hole in the wall town boasting a population of 1,197. And it’s this formative time in her life that the artist mines for her latest release, Concrete.
Korenne starts things off simply with “Know Better,” a solid adult contemporary acoustic pop rocker fueled with something of a sitar solo that sets it apart before moving into the jazzy vibes of the title track. Buoyed by a low-key, sultry arrangement that features some bright trumpet fills that provide an extra edge, “Concrete” is the tent pole of the album, showcasing solid lyricism and capturing the album’s emotional soul, representing the shifts taking place during the artist’s life at the time she’s singing about.
“Keep It In My Heart” finds the Korenne drawing moody notes together over a subdued composition while “Color Me In” draws with brighter tones, it’s tale of love buoyed by a flexible vocal delivery. Some road trip worthy fare is found on “Yours for a Song,” the acoustic guitar and persistent drumbeats laying forth a warmhearted trail for listeners to follow as “Ferris Wheel” mellows out with steel guitar swells and fingerpicked guitar.
“Trail of Broken Hearts” is something altogether different, almost recalling the eclecticism of Regina Spektor offering up an almost vintage-flavored soundscape, Korenne’s vocal adapting to the old school sonic template while the track pushes forward with a smile. Percussion carries the near sensuous “A Little Bit of Salt,” the artist utilizing some vocal elements to play off the throbbing drums and showing plenty of soul while “Take Me Slowly” rounds out the highlights, smoldering and unashamed in its sexual connotations. It’s an appropriately slow builder, Korenne’s vocals smooth and teasing the track to its amped up conclusion.