Best Of The Batch: Halie Loren
Full Circle

By MuzikMan [08-06-2006]

Artist: Halie Loren
Title: Full Circle
Genre: Jazz-Rock-Pop
Format: CD
Label: White Moon Productions

I often wonder how such beautiful women, both with voice and physical presence, can sing cut-to-the-bone lyrics, and mean it with every fiber of their being. Even after all these years of listening and writing reviews, it still catches me off guard. My first thought is like, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” That would be shortsighted and unrealistic to look at an individual in such a way, not to mention sexist. That thought came and went as quick as it arrived. Now let’s get down to business here.

Halie Loren is an individual that makes an impact as a poet, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and on top of all of that talent, sings like a woman on mission perfectly positioned to carry her story to the world via her music. She does it ALL very well.

With one listen to Full Circle, you will become a believer. It did not take long for me to realize I was listening to a special artist. When the third track “Sand” began, I said to myself, wow, this girl really has what it takes, she is the entire package and then some. The music is a nice mixture of jazz, pop, and rock, and at times, I heard hints of country, like the popular mainstream country that has been so hot for several years now. But these are my ears talking; somebody else may not hear that at all.

I can be absolute about one thing, the lyrics are very powerful, and the piano playing lying underneath it all is the foundation from which the tracks come flowing forth like a river out of control with unyielding emotion. The other contributing musicians are stellar as well and without them, Loren would not have the necessary building blocks to put together this musical machine. This album was a genuine team effort with a leader that has impeccable timing and tremendous skills in every area necessary to create a timeless recording.

If you think there is any surface emotion thrown in for fun on this album, think again—its straight to core with force for this lady. A song like “Pretty Truth” is a good example…

You still pretend you like to let me always choose
I still pretend that I don’t get pissed off at you when I lose,
You still pretend you like to let me always choose
brand new—maybe we should blind each other right now before It all starts showing through-
You still pretend you like to let me always choose
We are but figments we can never live up to,
But beneath the pretty polish we could always find a prettier truth…

I usually don’t quote songs like this, but I just had to. These lyrics make you ponder a few things. That particular passage could apply to a lot of things—a relationship, politicians, and the government, whatever you find in your life or around it that fits the description—which is the beauty of a song like this.

In songs such as the title track, Loren sings about making someone else feel her pain, turning the situation around “Full Circle” and enjoying it. It’s obvious this woman has been through a lot, like many of us, and has no problem wearing her heart on her sleeve. And that is exactly why I admire her for what she is doing here. The best part about it all, besides the great lyrics, is that it comes at you set to sounds that are just as biting and attention grabbing. This is a great album, and one that needs plenty of recognition and a large audience to enjoy just as I did.

01. Maybe I'll Fly (4:33)
02. Alone (4:40)
03. Sand (3:14)
04. River (4:14)
05. Pretty Truth (3:49)
06. Kitty (5:05)
07. Full Circle (4:40)
08. Empty (4:07)
09. Numb (3:43)
10. Almost Even (3:06)
11. Sisters (5:12)
12. Lucky (4:14)


Halie Loren: vocals, piano, organ, synths, keyboards, tambourine
Chris Ward: acoustic & electric guitars, bass, feedback ‘noise’
Paul Biondi: saxophone
Brian West: drums, congas
Dale Bradley: cellos
James M. House: electric guitars, six string fretted bass

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