It’s a rainy Sunday morning and I honestly couldn’t be happier about that. It’s one of those perfect fall mornings and, as a sucker for fall and winter weather, I am definitely in my happy spot. I typically struggle to find the perfect soundtrack for mornings like this so instead of scrolling through Spotify playlists, I decided to just review the album at the top of my “need to review” pile. Lucky for me, Lynn O’Brien’s ‘Rising’ ended up being the absolute perfect soundtrack to my rainy and cozy morning.
As soon as “Let It Come” started flooded out of my speakers, I couldn’t help but just lean back at my desk with my coffee cupped in my hands and just watch the rain come down. I was instantly reminded by the smooth vocals of Norah Jones and even a styling that matched but it that isn’t a dead on comparison. You can hear nods to the greats in the jazz and soul world but also hear that Lynn is going to take you on a journey throughout this ten song album that nobody has taken you on before.
“RISING” carries on with the jazzy and soulful vibe that “Let It Come” laid out but it seems to turn a little bit to the dark and ominous side of things. Much like the vocals, the instrumentation is smooth and just barely there but somehow also completely captives you as the song moves on. The dark and ominous vibe breaks up in time for “Golden Ticket” to kick in. A little bit more playful but still just as full of feelings and honesty as far as lyrics go, this is one of those songs that instantly gets stuck in your head. It’s calming nature makes it perfect and Lynn’s vocals and words make it genius. I adore the way that Lynn gives every single note the perfect amount of time to hang in the air. It doesn’t feel hurried but it also doesn’t feel too slow.
Lynn’s incredible voice kicks off “How Can I Give My Love Away?” in the most perfect way. I have to be honest, I was pretty relaxed as “Golden Ticket” faded out but the intro for this one instantly snapped me back to reality. This one is definitely one of those “songs for the soul”. The subtle backing vocals during the chorus add a beautiful touch this already beautiful song. About half way through, Lynn’s vocals give way to a beautiful yet simplistic sounding guitar solo. Although this album is definitely about Lynn and her talent, there’s no hiding the talent in the group of musicians she worked with to make this happen and I love that she tastefully gave them each a moment to shine throughout this album without making it seemed forced.
“Leave Your Porch Light On” is my favorite song on this album. The beat insists that you sway back and forth to it whether you want to or not. There’s a perfect mix of an almost old-timey sound with a more modern singer-songwriter vibe creating a sound that is truly infectious. Add some horns here and there and you definitely have an amazing song that I may or may not have played a couple of times through before moving onto “Be Free” which definitely stands out from the rest of the album. “Be Free” starts off with an almost yodel styled vocal that seems to not fit anything else in the album yet somehow fit perfectly at the same time. Echoey and just downright gorgeous, if you had any doubts in Lynn’s vocal prowess up to now (which would shock me), it’s definitely gone by the time you get through this quite interlude of song.
‘Rising’ continues on with “Change is Comin’ Round”. There’s a new sense of power in Lynn’s voice as this song kicks in. With just her voice and an intricate base line, there’s a sense of that dark and ominous vibe that we got in “Golden Ticket” but also a sense of the brightness laid out in “Leave Your Porch Light On”. This song is my favorite when it comes to Lynn’s voice. I honestly don’t know how to explain it but there’s this new sense of energy to her vocals that had me absolutely stuck on this song.
“Lettin’ You Know” takes a turn to a more modern vibe to it. I imagined a classy wine bar as this song kicked in with couple dancing and laughing in front of me. This track is definitely one of the more upbeat tracks on this album making it a fun listen and something to brighten up the dark and dreary (yet somehow perfect) morning for me. Although more dancey and upbeat, there’s no sense of being hurried or over done making this my second favorite songs on this album.
That dancey vibe is replaced by cozy and comfort as “You Have Always Been Enough” starts. There’s something bright and sunny about this song while Lynn dances around with words that hit you right in the feels. A simplistic song at the beginning as it’s just Lynn and her ukulele for majority of the song, I was amazed at the amount of energy that she can convey with just her voice. It’s one of those elements of this album that you knew was there all around but this song really drives that point home.
‘Rising’ closes out with “Forevermore”. The most beautiful track on this album, there’s something so painful yet so comforting about it. A love song and ode to Margaret M. O’Brien (her aunt), this song closes out with the most heartbreaking and beautiful moment of this entire album. If you listening closely at the end, you hear and old recording of Margaret and Lynn singing together. I may or may not have had tears in my eyes as my apartment went quiet. I just sat there- In silence- Which I rarely do but I just needed a moment to process the journey that Lynn had just taken me on.
If you’re like me, you need a soundtrack to every moment of every day and sometimes struggle to find said soundtracks. Lynn O’Brien’s ‘Rising’ is the perfect soundtrack for many different moments and I’m so thankful that this was the album on the top of my pile.
My Favorite Track(s): “Leave Your Porch Light On”; “Lettin’ You Know”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 3.8 out of 10
For Fans Of: Complicated Yet Simple; Feelings; Cozy rainy Sunday mornings
Daydream-ability: 7.1 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Autumn tried to type her own review by constantly walking on top of my keyboard; Artemis just laid by his food dish
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8.1 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
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