Album Review: Laura Izibor – Let The Truth Be Told
by Marcus K. Dowling
Let The Truth Be Told
Irish born Laura Izibor is bound to be a star. Possessing the perfect storm of strong talent, marketing muscle, and being a downright attractive, honey complexioned, piano playing mixed race female singing R & B, her path to success was already laid in the personage of Alicia Keys, and while nothing separates Izibor per se, her voice and particular abilities, at a point where Keys does not have any new material at present in rotation on pop radio makes her a surefire winner of the hearts and adulation of fans of lilting melodies and impassioned lyricism worldwide.
Her debut album, “Let the Truth be Told,” released this week on Atlantic Records clocks in at 37 minutes of pop radio aimed R & B confection, songs that have been honed, crafted and perfected during the first five years of the 22 year old songstress’ career, a career so far that has seen her open for the likes of James Brown, The Roots, Estelle, Aretha Franklin and John Legend, the young singer known as “The Soul of Ireland” clearly was the person to open for any international touring act in the past five years, and her confidence in her talents from said experiences shows clearly on the release.
Izibor’s time signed to major label powerhouse Atlantic Records will provide an invaluable assist as well, as many of the albums tracks have ALREADY been featured elsewhere, from Step Up 2: The Streets, to Grey’s Anatomy, The Hills, and The Nanny Diaries, in a move akin to Moby and Santigold, she has already gained considerable commercial success, so even in the face of a tough record buying public, the belief is that she already has traction with a broad enough spectrum to expect success. As well, she is presently featured as a model and artist for Steve Madden shoes and apparel on their website, as well as international focus as a VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist, as well as being spotlighted as an artist to follow by Vibe and Rolling Stone magazines. The marketing machine is obviously behind Izibor, and with good reason.
Internationally, she has already released four singles, foremost is “From My Heart to Yours,” an upbeat love anthem that allows Izibor’s considerable vocal talents to be on display as she belts and soars over a track built on pianos and an old school East coast hip hop boom bap, this represents her most American radio and mainstream ready single, and as expected, it’s presently zooming up the charts. As well, the “Grey’s Anatomy” featured “Shine,” a positive and uplifting pop winner with a Stax styled drum pickup and rhythm section, allows Izibor’s piano to fit in and create, for her followup American single a rollicking groove of a song. Also, “Don’t Stay,” Izibor’s latest foreign single, a straight up lovelorn over love lost reflection is a solid track as well, the production taking second fiddle to Izibor’s fine songwriting, lyric after lyric showing some of her best songwriting to date in her young career.
However, the real pride of the album, and admittedly by Ibizor of her career is album closer “Mmm…,” (previously featured on the soundtrack to Step Up 2: The Streets) a melange of exemplary and most evocative songwriting and brilliant production, it’s clear that this song, which has been in her touring show for quite some time, is the product of unusual amounts of hard work and dedication between songwriter, producer, label and a perpetually rousing crowd reaction, creating a must hear song that fills the mind and fills the room with romance, Izibor’s lush pianos and vocals are the only thing on the track, and it creates a showstopper, her song, and the song that takes the album from the place of being solid in a year of solid music to being likely one of the more acclaimed R & B productions of 2009.
“Let the Truth Be Told” presents Laura Izibor as an artist bound to be one of the future cornerstones of international R & B. Between her talent and ability at such a young age, mixed with the fact that the album only features her, no duets, and songwriting by the artist that shows an emotional and personal depth that belies her youth, it’s only certain that she will improve, and, with a fuure expected to be surrounded by the top of the charts in pop and urban music, it’s not a thought of if, but when Laura Izibor will be a true, dependable chart success.