- Perfectly Imperfect by Elle Varner Label: RCA / MBK Entertainment Release Date: August 7th 2012
Up until now, Elle Varner has been one of the music industry’s best secrets – well as of August 7th 2012, the secret’s out. She pulls you in with her gorgeous appearance and then sends you over the moon with her distinct, soaring vocals. While she enticed us with her colorful full-length mixtape, Conversational Lush earlier in the year, it’s her debut album which holds the true gems of her career. From top to bottom the album is an adventure featuring production almost entirely from Pop and Oak (Nicki Minaj “Right By My Side”, Big Sean “Marvin & Chardonnay) and with each track featuring writing credits from Elle Varner herself. The album lives purely within the realm of R&B while dabbling within funk, hip hop, pop, and even a bit of electronic. If you’re looking for a new artist with a fresh outlook on R&B/Soul – look no further than Elle Varner.
Possibly Elle’s most powerful song on this 11-track opus is the major ballad, “Not Tonight.” If anything personifies the perfectly imperfect experience, it’s this track where her raspy vocals, flighty falsetto, and incredibly songwriting comes to life as she tells her tale of apprehension when approaching a man. And that plays into the full story behind this album, the overall journey of a woman just searching for love.
“I Don’t Care” highlights a husky tone to her raspy, signature vocals, which just adds another layer of sexy to this slow number. Clearly, she’s a victim of cupid’s arrow and she’s not afraid to show with a bold expression of love. “Sound Proof Room” is another bold track which is probably the closest thing to embracing the sex-kitten from within on this LP. Improper thoughts, lustful urges all run through her mind as she sings, “Me and you / Boy we’re gonna need a soundproof room.” Ain’t nothing wrong with that!
If you’re familiar with Conversational Lush, and you’re familiar with the bad luck in her song “WTF” well then “Oh What A Night”, which has single potential, is it’s stumbling drunk cousin. She recaps a crazy night and even drops a few bars, on this gorgeous mesh of hip hop, R&B. “Stop The Clock” is soulful track with crossover potential. Her story of heartbreak is accented with rising synths, emphatic horns, and clap-crazy hook.
Elle Varner doesn’t walk the familiar line of cliched R&B, as the album doesn’t posses female man-bashing anthems, raunchy bedroom numbers, or neatly veiled hip hop club records. Perfectly Imperfect is all soul, it’s all Elle – classy, virtuous, and damn right amazing the entire way through.