Album Review: Algebra Blessett – “Recovery”

 

 

Algebra-Blessett--Recovery

 

Singer/songwriter/musician Algebra Blessett released sophomore album “Recovery” on January 28th, 2014. Her debut album “Purpose” was released in 2008. Productions on this album are by Shannon Sanders, Todd Moore (LTMoe), Kwamé Holland, and Bryan-Michael Cox.

 

The album starts off with “Exordium to Recovery”. Meaning, the beginning of the recovery. It’s not really an introduction, it kind of sets up like a narration of a story that’s fixing to be told, very theatrical like with the classical play style and string vamps but still giving it a modern feel with the strong drumming. That goes into “Recovery” which is about being on the road to recovery. This song is produced by Kwamé Holland. The next song is “Right Next To You” also produced by Kwamé.

“Nobody But You” follows that, the first single from the album. Then the soulful duet with R&B vocalist Q. Parker (112) “Struggle To Be” who is the only featured artist on the album, also co-written by Mr. Parker. Production is by Brett Baker. The song is about two people who were once each other’s loves, and see each other again and realize the love they have for each other is still there, but they can’t pursue their feelings for each other because the guy (Q. Parker) is married.  Their voices blend very well together, and had some amazing harmonies as well. This song could be a fan favorite from the album.

“Augment To Recovery (Give My Heart A Chance)” produced by Kwamé. It seems like the meaning of the title means the improvement to the recovery. Like it’s setting the stage for the next half of the album. Sort of like an Act I, II if it was a play. The song after that is “Forever” produced by Shannon Sanders. The song is using visual metaphors to explain how she will love that person forever. The drumming on this record definitely stood out, which was done by Sanders as well.

“Writer’s Block” is definitely the songwriting highlight of the album. She is explaining in the lyrics how she has to get over the writer’s block. Even though there is pressure of putting out written perfection, as well as dealing with so much stress but the only way is to put it on paper. Hoping that what she is writing is true within and also to where she can convey it to the people. A personal favorite from the album definitely is “Paper Heart”. The lyrics meaning don’t use me as a convenience to only build me up to disappoint, because her heart is fragile and going through recovery. It stands out production wise and vocally, here’s why. The beginning of the song gives you a jazz vibe with the horn lines coming in first. It’s so many musical change-ups throughout the song. This song is not musically predictable at all, that’s the loving quality about it. The drum break was on point; the drummer did his thing on this. This would be a great song to hear live because the instrumentation is doing so much. Her vocal range was definitely present in this song. Algebra’s going in out of her sweet falsetto, also going into her lower register at a certain point in the song as well.

“Danger Zone” is definitely another personal favorite. Clearly that infectious bass line stands out completely. The lyrics are explaining that she and this guy have gone pass the infatuation stage into the danger zone, which is love. The musician ears were on, so definitely noticed the key change and how Algebra effortlessly went into a higher register at the end. “Mystery” is the next track. The lyrics are saying that love shouldn’t be a mystery, if you love each other just be straight forward and say it. “Another Heartache” vocally stood out; the harmonies had a gospel feel to it. Which is one of her influences, so kind of spot on. The guitar riffs definitely blended well with the vocals. “Better For Me” reflecting on a past relationship how it could’ve turned out a certain way, but she has to move on so she can be better. Last song on the album is the powerful ballad “I’ll Be Okay”. Instantly knew it was the great hit making producer Bryan-Michael Cox, with his skillful piano playing. This is another vocal highlight for Ms. Blessett. The build up with the violins and piano highlighted the strength in her voice, and her capabilities as a singer. Lyrics expressing how the heartache, sorrow, and despair have finally left, and in the end she will be okay. That she’ll let love find its place in time.

Very grateful that there are actual musicians credited on this album. Good to know live instrumentation still exists. Studying the lyrics and the album in its entirety, this is definitely a conceptual album. Algebra presented a well written album that could read like a story being told, with top notch production from the credited producers. It goes without saying that her vocals were flawless, very unique note placements throughout each song, just showing her strength as a skilled vocalist. It seems like this album is not just about recovering from a relationship, but other aspects of life.  This album definitely deserves 5 stars out of 5.

 

“Recovery” is in stores now available for (digital) purchase as well, via iTunes and Amazon.