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The Critics Corner: Albums
Outaa Here
Esmee Denters | Outta Here
Timberlake protege crafts solid debut album
Name: "Outta Here"
Label: Tennman Records
Release Date: August 24, 2010/September 7, 2010 (Amazon)
My rating: 4 out of 5

Review by Ashley Rosenberg
A few years ago, what many would call a youtube sensation popped up on the radar of the internet video atmosphere. Esmee Denters was just a teenager from the Netherlands who loved singing, writing, and listening to music. Out of random whim, she decided to post videos of herself to Youtube singing covers of some of her favorite artists' songs. Her talent was noticed by many and she became one of the most subscribed to users on Youtube.

Soon after these videos began to get some seriously viewing attention, her talents caught the interest of Justin Timberlake who was looking for fresh and real talent to support with his record label. In 2007, Justin and Esmee began to collaborate in writing songs and beats that would make the most out of Denters' unique voice and talents. What became was Esmee's debut album, Outta Here. Full of songs outlining different aspects of love and life, this album will make you want to dance to the fun and soulful beats while the lyrics will relate to different parts of your own love life.

The first track, Love Dealer essentially compares love to a drug, and the object of that love to the dealer. This song has seductive lyrics that go along perfectly with the beat. Justin Timberlake collaborates with Esmee on this track to create a sexy interaction as words exchanged throughout bring the flirty and fun seductiveness of the song to life. The background music that Timberlake chose for this song compliments Denters' voice for a perfect mix on this track.

At first listen ignoring the lyrics, track two is simply an upbeat song; adding in the words, this song takes a whole new meaning. Though the music is upbeat and energizing, the lyrics themselves tell a different story. Outta Here is a song about hopelessness in a relationship that is well past the good days. It expresses the confusing and hurtful sentiment of being in love with who someone used to be and wishing that they had not changed. This person has turned into someone who the other cannot stand to be with anymore; the situation has become so intense that the other cannot bear the emotional strain any longer. When paired with the lyrics, the music sounds powerful and full of realization. The feelings of the song and the readiness to get out of the relationship bubble up through the music as the song goes on in different ways, matching each part of the song.

Admit It is about another flirtatious relationship; the idea is similar to Love Dealer. She wants him to want her and to just go with it. This song is fun and upbeat and its style reminds me of Christina Aguilera's Candyman. The song starts with the notes of a horn, differentiating it from the rest of the album. That style lingers throughout the song, giving it a fun and flirty, vintage beat.

The next track is a song that describes falling in love and getting burned; something that many people can relate to. Casanova is about a girl who falls in love with a guy who pretty much plays her. She let her guard down and fell in love only to get hurt at the end. Justin Timberlake adds his talents in this track as well, serving as the voice of protection and learning to contrast Esmee's innocence and hurt. This song alludes that somethings have to happen so that one can learn from them and that often there is no way to avoid these seemingly devastating situations. Love and heartbreak are a part of life; you never expect either until they happen.

Gravity slows the album down while beautifully showcasing Esmee's voice. This song goes along with the seemingly running theme on this album about relationships and love that ended up not being what they should have been. Instead of the light, floating feeling often associated with love, the lyrics express the feeling of being trapped and heavy with nowhere to go. The slowness of the music does not give to an in love type of majestic sound, but rather adds to the feeling of helplessness and the need to get out.

Esmee's voice sounds so smooth in Getting Over You. The beat in this song is catchy and the story that is told is one that almost everyone encounters at least once in their life. Someone came into her life at a time when she had her guard up and was fine being alone. Somehow that person managed to get into her heart. Even though she let him go, she cannot get over him and now regrets letting him go even though he has already moved on. The sound, main vocals, and supplement vocals on this song are perfect. This is a great track.

What If is a slower song that simply expresses the uncertainty in any relationship. Does the other person feel the same way as you do? What does the future have in store for this relationship? Is it meant to be? The music on this track perfectly compliments Esmee's voice again; the mixing in the track lends to making the song more interesting and catchy in spite of its more serious subject.

I had a hard time getting in to Memories Turn to Dust. It's a song about when memories of the past start to lose their importance. Though the memories are still there and you can still feel them, it doesn't do anything for you anymore. I really liked the idea of Crazy Place, but I do not feel that it did the best job of showcasing the depth and uniqueness of Esmee's voice. This is a song about social awareness; she is not preaching to everyone to tell them that they need to change. She agrees that she also plays into the society norms of only paying attention to what people have instead of taking care of those who do not. She expresses that after seeing those who are less fortunate, her views have changed and that she tries to concentrate on the important things. She says that love is most important, but it gets lost in the shuffle of more superficial things.

The album closes with Sad Symphony, a song that describes a relationship that has been on and off again for a long time. I love the extended metaphor of love being a symphony in this song. He plays the strings on her heart in the wrong notes which signals the end of the relationship to her. Towards the end of the relationship, she hears the same song and feels the same way. It never changes and haunts her. Violins are incorporated beautifully into the intro of this song in an almost haunting way. It would have been interesting to have them continue through out the song, but all in all, its a great end to the album.

Esmee Denters' album will make you move; with the help and inspiration of Justin Timberlake, each song has its own unique beat that you can't help but dance to. The tracks are enjoyable both musically and lyrically as each song illustrates a different part of the journey that is growing, loving, and all that comes with it with some self and social awareness mixed in for good measure. Pay attention to just the music and you have great beats to movie to; listen to the lyrics and remember what it is like to be young, in and out of love, and discovering the world.
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