Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Album Review: Priscilla Renae Jukebox

Twenty-one year old You-Tube sensation Priscilla Renae has more to her than meets the eye. While her first single, the independence anthem, "Dollhouse" sounds like standard issue dance pop (very good standard issue dance pop thank you very much), the rest of her debut Jukebox, is a diverse exploration of her musical influences.

The Florida native channels piano-heavy pop ("Love Sick," "Bacon and Eggs") acoustic ballads ("Pretty Girl," "Stone Garden") and hip hop-soul/funk mash-ups("Rockabye Baby"). Insecurity is the topic on the album closer "Fixing My Hair," where Priscilla feels she may not measure up to her man's expectations. "Either way you tell me I'm so pretty/I need to hide all of my insecurities."

"Rockabye Baby," tells of the woes of teenage parenthood, playing on old nursery rhymes with the lyrics "Little Miss Mary Mack/Got buttons all down her back/She let Georgie loosen them up/And now her belly's fat." Things don't get much better for Georgie and Mary by the third verse. "Screamin' Georgie Pordgie let me in/Saying not by the hair of my chinny chin chin/She scribbled down I hate you on his subpoena papers."

The bouncy "Mr. Workabee" takes to task a workaholic boyfriend who forgets he's "got a queen at home,"  and call outs the potential cheater, singing "The buzz around town is you creep around/So what are you workin' on." But it isn't all broken teenage dreams and heartbreak. The playful kiss-and-make up jam "Bacon and Eggs" and head over heels pop rock of  "Love Sick" balance out the more somber moments. Although she can really let loose vocally, Priscilla smartly exercises restraint, only giving the tracks what they need instead delving into diva belting.

If Jukebox has any flaws, it's that it gets a little too ballad heavy towards the end. Having another uptempo dance track could've broken up the album's slow pace. It'd be easy to compare Priscilla Renae, who played most of the album's guitar and piano parts, to Sara Bareilles, FeFe Dobson or a pre-Rated R Rihanna. While she's certainly has similarities with those artists, Jukebox proves she has her own identity.


Listen to a few of Jukebox's best tracks below:



Rockabye Baby

Fixing My Hair

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