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Harmony (Deluxe)

Serena Ryder

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Album Review

Serena Ryder's sixth studio album, 2013's Harmony, showcases the Canadian singer/songwriter's soulful and bluesy music mixing Dusty Springfield-esque '60s R&B with a contemporary pop aesthetic. Ryder has a huge following in Canada, where her albums have gone gold and platinum and earned her several Juno awards. Prior to the release of her single "Stompa" — included on Harmony — she was not as well known in the United States, but the release of Harmony will probably go a long way toward raising her profile outside of Canada. Ryder possesses a powerful voice with a throaty timbre and a nasal resonance, making her the perfect vehicle for her brand of soulful rock. Not surprisingly, she's drawn favorable comparisons to both Melissa Etheridge and Adele, and Harmony will do nothing to dissuade such allusions. Admittedly, Ryder fits snugly into the post-Amy Winehouse crew of female vocalists with songs that oscillate between moments of Southern soul, contemporary R&B, and mainstream melodic rock. If Ryder's voice weren't so engaging, or if she weren't so emotionally believable on Harmony, some of the Winehouse/Mark Ronson-esque production via Jerrod Bettis and Jon Levine might cause the average listener, bombarded with a slew of Winehouse-wannabes, to tune out. However, Ryder is such a compelling singer and her songs are, by and large, so catchy that such generalities are easy to dismiss. Primarily, Ryder avoids the retro-tag by delivering a handful of gutsy, organic torch songs like "Please," "Heavy Love," and "Mary Go Round," all of which owe far less to the stylized production and more to the unique sound of her voice and the quality of her songwriting. [Harmony was also released as a digital download.]

Customer Reviews

Amazing talent!

I bought this CD early in the summer in Canada, and it seems a shame the US has had to wait so long for such an amazing record! Serena Ryder has real talent and every song on this album is so good. Excited to buy the US version of the CD!!

truly good artist

I saw her just recently open for OneRepublic in CT and she was soooo good live. I can't wait to see what she can do in the US. She has a rocking voice.

BEST ALBUM I OWN, no joke...

Was able to get the CD from Canada, trust me guys, it is absolutely amazing!!! I was also lucky enough to see Serena in concert and meet her in May. She was incredible. She is such an amazing talent and a really nice, fun, wonderful person. Just buy it, you will not be sorry, I can ssure you of that!!

Biography

Born: December 8, 1983 in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born and raised just outside Peterborough in Millbrook, Ontario, songwriter Serena Ryder grew up listening to old Beatles and Leonard Cohen records that she found in her parents' collection. She started singing publicly as a young child and, having received a guitar from her father, began playing the instrument at the age of 13. Songwriting efforts followed. In 2002, the 18-year-old took several recordings from a live Quebec performance and packaged them into an official demo, which eventually made...
Full Bio
Harmony (Deluxe), Serena Ryder
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