If you are like me and are one of the handful of American's who doesn't keep up with American Idol, then Haley Reinhart's powerhouse vocals might be completely shocking to you. The first time I heard Haley's voice was when I listened to her debut album Listen UP! I was blown away by how talented and refreshing she is as an artist. I went back and watched her American Idol performances on YouTube to understand who she is as a performer. You can tell Listen UP! is Haley's album from it's 50's blues soul accompanied with a modern twist to keep her style of music fresh. I can't get over how much I love Haley's powerhouse vocals. And she proves that you don't need to use autotune to have a hit song on the radio.
Listen Up! starts off with a song that's so catchy that it really makes you want to "listen up" to see what the rest of the album has in store. "Oh My!" features rapping sensation B.o.B adding even more spice to the start of the album. The mixture of B.o.B's rap, the jazz instruments, and Haley's smooth yet powerful voice would make for a great radio single.
"Free" is Listen Up!'s leading single. It's a fun and flirty song that Haley makes shine. The music video for this song hits my imagination spot on. The story taking place at a 50's diner not only fits my imagination, but it also is perfect for Haley's style and rhythm.
The next few songs, "Liar," "Wasted Tears," and "Undone," put three different spins on love gone wrong. "Wasted Tears" is the fun upbeat song about what a waste it was to cry over a relationship being over. "Wasted Tears" is the song that will be powerful girls song of 2012 like Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" was in 2011. "Liar" and "Undone," have slower tempos but are still songs that girls will be singing at the top of their lungs to be their anthems to mend their broken hearts.
"Now That You're Here" changes the journey of the album from love gone wrong to being smitten again. Now that the love interest is here she can't see herself without them. With Haley singing, "Now that you're here there's nowhere else for me," it's a refreshing 'pick me up' from the previous songs on the album.
Still in the happy mood of being smitten, "Wonderland," a smooth jazzy and soulful song, is another anthem but this time it's about how good it feels to be in love and wanting everyone else to be in "Wonderland" with you. "Come on sister stand up and love…no more crying it's around the corner.”
"Keep Coming Back" and "Hit The Ground Runnin'" are two of my favorite songs off of Listen UP!. I would have liked to see "Hit The Ground Runnin'" earlier on in the album. It is a good take off song that showcases not only Haley's talent, but that her music career is just now taking off and she has such a long way to go. "Keep Coming Back" seems to be the story after "Wasted Tears." Now that she's already said goodbye to a bad relationship, the other party wants her back but she's not having any of that.
The album ends on a high note with "Walking On Heaven." Haley Reinhart has her head on her shoulders and while she is conquering her dreams, she is continuing to make new dreams and constantly setting new goals for herself. "Walking On Heaven" seems to be about the success she has made already hasn't hit her yet and she still seems to be on Cloud Nine.
Whichever song Haley and her team decide to release as her next few singles, they will be massive hits. There isn't one song on Listen Up! that I wouldn't want to hear on the radio. Listen Up! is only Haley Reinhart debut album, but I can't wait to see where it takes her. She's young and if she continues to produce these neo soul pop hits, her career will be long-lived and I can't wait to see what she does next!