12 Songs, 49 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

Kim&Nolan ,

Hidden Country Gem out of Upstate New York

I was recommended this debut album of Laila Belle by a friend who’s “into the local music scene” (which I am not). I had no idea what to expect. Boy, do I feel like a lucky star landed in my lap!

The first listen revealed the basics: a classic country style, a female vocalist with a voice like a warm hug (i.e. intimate and inviting), a smooth relaxed vibe, immediately catchy tunes and I caught some fun lyrics in there as well. Then, like happens with all the best music, with each subsequent listen I fell further and further in love with Laila Belle, getting each song seriously lodged in my head in turn as I uploaded them to my own memory banks (my 9yo son was happily going through the same process with me and experiencing the same song-stuck-in-my-head “problem”).

I am not an experienced music critic, but I do know a good thing when I hear it; my admittedly vague criteria for “good music” includes music that makes me want to sing, and/or dance, and/or think, and/or feel. This music does all of that, but especially the first and the last. I was really drawn in by the subtlety of the singer’s timing or “phrasing,” the real poetry of the lyrics throughout the album, and the overall intimate and relaxed feel. I found the music invoking sweet nostalgic feelings of warm summer evenings, past romances, and of the roadtrips of my 20’s. Dozens of listens in, I now know and love all the songs on this album; it is a great way to begin the morning, end the day, and is especially awesome for road-tripping with your family or a loved one. My favorites include the flirtaceous “Stirrin’ Honey In”, the free and roaming “Cochise County,” the heart-achingly beautiful “Blue Twilight,” and the timeless “Time On My Hands”— if you want to try a sampler ; ) Otherwise, if you just want to jump in and discover some great music by a small band you’ve never heard of before, just give Laila Belle a listen; you won’t be disappointed.