Space Bar Love

Amber Ojeda

Independent release, 2012

http://www.amberojeda.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/19/2012

Reality talent shows have had a good track record when it comes to churning out successful pop stars. At the same time, not being the “winner” doesn’t mean any lack of talent either, as it is evident from the numerous runners-up of American Idol who have achieved celebrity status. But for someone who ended up towards the bottom on Bravo’s Platinum Hit show, Amber Ojeda is quite an exceptional artist. Ending up ninth out of the 12 contestants on a show that requires the contestants to write and perform lyrics from multiple genres might not seem very flattering. But Ojeda’s album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Space Bar Love shows what an immensely gifted talent she is when it comes to just that: writing and performing an album that transcends genres.

This singer from Los Angeles has a laidback, jazzy vocal style that’s a throwback to the jazz singers of yore and goes best with only an acoustic guitar or a lonely piano as an accompaniment. Her voice is a dependable soundtrack for a cozy romantic evening. Tracks such as “Footsteps,” “Stale Smoke,” “Sky Blue,” and “No, Good Bye” have this chilled-out vibe that goes perfectly well with her intimate singing fashion. But despite finding a niche, Ojeda is all too enthusiastic to step outside of her zone and explore other musical directions.

Ojeda – like similar artists such as Esthero – takes her distinctive style and takes it into the realm of soul, electronica, and hip-hop. The album’s first song “Comma (Before We Were Us)” starts as some sort of an avant-garde electronic track, morphing into an unusual, down-tempo R&B one. Much of the poppier side of album follows a similar path; the music isn’t the brashy and loud pop song type but is rather influenced by subtler electronica. It all sounds fresh and smooth, even when Ojeda indulges in some hip-hop (courtesy of guest rappers) on tracks such as “Supersonic” and “Insert Here.” She also does passionate (but soothing) spoken word on “Comma (Midtro),” the sister-track to the album opener.

For such a diverse album, Space Bar Love is extremely accessible, one that the masses will find not too hard to fall in love with. It is clear, however, that Ojeda’s ambition of pop stardom is based on her own terms, and not on the terms of what would appeal to the rank and file of music consumers.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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