Over the past few months, I have once again become captivated by the pop music genre. It encompasses a style of music that was very near, and dear, to my heart throughout my teenage years. Although, as a musical discipline I feel pop music has been overexposed for years with too many substandard performers. I therefore find Laura Michelle’s debut album Novel With No End to be a most intriguing listening experience as she delivers a unique performance.
Laura’s vocals are gorgeous and shows a young artist who has plenty of potential, but I don’t feel the accompanying musical elements were pushed as far as they could have been. For me, some of the songs sounded predictable. That said, there are some standout tracks where the musicality is off the chart.
Novel With No End is an album that crosses both pop and country disciplines, with a touch of rock. Subjectively, I like this cross-styled approach.
As I listen to this album, I find myself recalling Delta Goodrem’s amazing debut album Innocent Eyes. I consider Goodrem to be one of the best female-pop artists in the world today. While Laura Michelle’s style is absolutely unique, her professionalism with the microphone is on par with the performances that Delta Goodrem made on her debut.
For this review I used TIDAL Hi-Fi and found the mastering of the album to be adequate for a pop release, but it has been mastered a little hot and subsequently the stereo imaging is limited and you tend to experience a wall of sound coming from the speakers, rather than being completely immersed in the music. Yes, I know that this is a modern style of mastering, but I really want more dynamic range from modern albums. I just hope that the album has been recorded with a full dynamic range, so that it can be re-issued at a later date. That said, it doesn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying Novel With No End.
Throwaway is a fun track but there is a little sibilance in Laura’s vocal that detracts me. As I always say in my reviews, don’t look for sibilance because once you know what to listen for, you’ll hear it on numerous albums.
Top Of The World has a beat and guitar riff that I absolutely love. It will get you head bopping and toe tapping from the first note. Seriously, turn this track up to 11. It is incredible!
Chameleon has a lovely synth and acoustic guitar introduction that continues throughout the song. It is an element that really appeals to me and one that I feel could be remixed perfectly. I’d love to see what Calvin Harris could do with this song, although it is already exceptional in this current rendition.
Cigarette is a moody song that has a great beat and guitar riff, although it is a little more pop driven, whereas, I feel the song would have made a perfect rock and roll track. Of course, that is just my subjective opinion, but I feel the song doesn’t quite know if it wants to be pop or rock. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoy it and find that I’m turning up the volume and toe tapping along with this song.
Chuck Norris is a song that I just don’t like. It is too teeny bopper for me. It immediately makes me think of songs that would appear on any coming-of-age film soundtrack.
The Credits returns the album to a song that I feel is reminiscent of the album as a whole and truly respects the quality of Michelle’s vocals. It is a lovely country-pop infused song.
Save Me is another song that truly highlights the remarkable voice of Laura Michelle. While the song has been recorded with a live string section, I would love to hear a version with a full symphony orchestra as I feel this song has untapped potential. Michelle's harmonic overlaps, towards the end of the track, are a perfect addition.
Ain’t Your Home is an enjoyable song that blends well with the entire album, but I feel the performance was held back a little. There is just something missing that I can’t quite explain.
Knocks Me Back isn’t one of my favourite tracks as I feel it is too safe in regards to simply ticking all the relevant pop music boxes.
My Baby Loves Me is a perfectly acceptable song, but I feel like it is a b-side to the album.
Novel With No End is an absolutely gorgeous song. This is the song that specifically reminds me of Delta Goodrem’s vocal style, but it also provides validation to me that Laura Michelle will be a female vocalist to take note of in the coming years as she continues to develop and refine her vocal capabilities.
Boy To Smell is a song that I feel should have been tracked earlier in the album as I feel Novel With No End would have been the perfect song to close the album on as it is, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire album. That said, Boy To Smell isn’t a bad song, it just doesn’t make me want to immediately play the album again.
Overall, for a debut album, Novel With No End is exceptional and I can’t wait to watch what I predict will be a very successful career for Laura Michelle.
Novel With No End is available for purchase on iTunes and the TIDAL Store. However, there is currently no physical release for this album, but the iTunes release does come with a digital booklet, if you're interested in liner notes.
Novel With No End is also available for streaming on Apple Music.