We are all about sounds and listening, in the main. But your scribe must take time out to mention that this artist has a face that is simultaneously beautiful and 100% wicked. She must have had a terrible time at school, she just looks as though she definitely did it or masterminded it. She also bears a resemblance to…oh, more of this another time…..
Our familiarity with Logan’s voice and presence comes from seeing her aboard the Scott Bradlee’s PostModern Jukebox ensemble whose live performances enthral crowds with complete rearrangements of radio hits into dance band delights. The show format also affords personalities like Aubrey the opportunity to speak to, entertain, humiliate and terrorise the punters. An opportunity often taken, as Logan, dressed to kill commands the stage and sings up a storm. She can – in common with one or two her colleagues in SBPMJ – be a sort of Cruella de Vaudeville….
Crying On The Airplane starts with a vocal line and a feline delivery in a mid-range pitch, as a sly melody that grooves but evokes songs like It’s My Party. Production is kept simple and punchy with slight reverbs on some instruments. The chorale could be her multi-tracked. Infernally catchy stuff and I like the cool bassline and quasi-MoTown middle eight.
Pity Party kicks off with bravado singing and florid piano before settling into an off-Broadway tune that Annie Ross would have loved. Speedy delivery of the showband lyric is easily nailed by Logan, almost-scat runs and all. A great composition about moving over. At 2:35 a fluid trombone solo – Logan I think – rides on the tinkling piano. It’s like a 50s classic that Jo Stafford didn’t release for whatever reason. The drummer is a nimble cat on this and elsewhere. A gorgeous Ray Charles electric piano starts Pistol, already a popular choice, I understand. Insistent, sexy, crisp horns in the mix and a heavy backbeat. If I beg Aubrey, may I play slide guitar on this sometime ? The high voice passage hints at opera and floats into the number, very impressive…
By the time of Don’t Wanna Tell Nobody, I am thinking that no-one has done this sort of material this well since our own Mari Wilson. This is a rather ethereal piano ballad where Logan sounds herself entirely. No histrionics, clean notes actually HELD ! In lesser hands this song would be over-emoted but here it just has such impact. Surely Billy Joel would approve. Louboutine sounds like a film theme with its sustained keys chording and suddenly our lass is mining Ann Peebles territory over thumping drums. It seems to be a song about shoes and more, the vocal pitched perfectly to complement the moody composition. Clipped guitar hints at Boys of Summer, with its cyclic chordal path and analog chorus tone. Gossip is brassy and set to a New Awlins beat, Logan employing a lighter, airier voice..she seems to have a boxful to draw upon. The backdrop is full, rich yet springheeled, to suit the bitchy lyric.
Some of my favourite artists including Dada and Funkadelic guitar ace Eddie Hazel have had a shot at California Dreamin’. What will Aubrey do with it? The answer is a pastoral take over a Rhodes. With Casey Abrams singing as well. A good pairing, leaning towards gospel. A short trombone break works. Halanma is exotic, rattling percussion and all, an ancient tune that reminds me of duff conjurers. Over here, ropey magicians on TV used to perform over Ellington’s Caravan or Ravel’s Bolero! This is an exercise in singing in French with elan, killer trombone again. Hard to resist when done this well.
Starting To Believe floats in on toybox piano set on tremelo setting and stately strings. The lightest of voices brings us the lyric, one of the emotional variety. A beautiful melody, would be a show-stopper in a West End show, though another artist would over-cook it, most likely. Go is put over in a conspiratorial way over cruising Hammond and moody backbeat. As soul slowies go this hits the erotica button pretty well, but you can’t hide the Bond riff from these ears, sugar…this is the new song En Vogue are looking for, I venture. My favourite cut on this set. Who knew granite could melt?
U Can’t Touch This? Are we getting MC Hammer now? Keep him away from the accounts! Ah yes, it is a song of his given the All About The Bass treatment..
Last number is Impossible, the title song. Very sad and steady it is, too. Well sung but a bit of a downer, the dark strings don’t help. Don’t listen to this near a river, folks.
Aubrey Logan has an astonishing array of vocal timbres to use and use them she does. This set has here and there a bit of a showreel feel, it’s true..but WHAT a showreel! Sad, strident, swinging, soft, sassy, sentimental, spirited and sexy, it’s all here…..
(Thanks Sam, I am right about the look!)
Aubrey Logan’s new album ‘Impossible’ is out now on Knight Music/Universal.
For more information visit her official website here: http://bit.ly/2eTeTm5
In addition, Aubrey will be performing two shows in the UK in September 2017. The dates are as follows: