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Lael Summer – “Burden to Bear”

Lael Summer – “Burden to Bear”

Lael SummerLael SummerLael Summer might be new to the New York soul scene, but could be hearing more about her soon. Lael was recently signed to independent label True Groove Records: a label name that pretty much summarizes her flare. Lael’s debut album is called Burden To Bear, which sounds like it would be a collection of pitiful, woe-is-me songs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Burden To Bear features songs like “I Need a Man”, which is not an anthem of defeat: it’s an ultimatum. It’s a demand and dare to manhood. The lyrics themselves don’t create this feel. If a soft-spoken artist wrote a song about how she needs a man, it would be a call to sympathy. However, Lael delivers the message with so much swagger and command that it doesn’t come off that way. If anyone feels pathetic at the end of this song, it’s the listener: embarrassed for the male species’ inability to give Lael what she wants.

This song is a solid pop funk number, but wavers at the end. Once the full lyrical message has been delivered, Lael goes for the cliché race-to-hit-all-the-R&B-notes strategy. Her “I’m not messing around” voice reigned a little false when going for such a routine soul gimmick. I felt that the ending detracted from her threatening presence. Lael makes it clear that she isn’t looking to waste time on boys anymore. She should take that same attitude to her music and not waste time on general soul staples just because other artists are doing it. Stick to the swagger, because that’s what you’ve got down the best.

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Lael Summer is an expressive and sultry singer-songwriter fresh on the music scene. Born and raised in NYC, Lael’s love of music was apparent early on. Currently, Lael is a senior in The University of Southern California’s elite Popular Music program. In her freshman year she opened for Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band with a smoldering version of Sly’s ‘Thank You’ and Joplin’s ‘Piece of My Heart.’ Lael released her debut EP last August, which featured four songs from her NEWLY RELEASED album, Burden to Bear, produced by Tomás Doncker, pioneer for the True Groove Global SOUL Independent Music Label.




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