Haley Reinhart was born on September 9, 1990 and is from Wheeling, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Both of her folks are musicians. She studied jazz at Harper College. She was my favourite contestant on Season 10 of American Idol on which she placed third. On the show she performed songs such as Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and Elton John’s ‘Bennie and the Jets’. Her debut album is LISTEN UP! It came out on May 22, 2012 on Interscope Records. It sold 59, 000 copies. Interscope dropped her in November. She says: “I’ll find another great home.” She co-wrote all ten songs on her debut.
‘Oh My!’ is an upbeat track with sax and trumpet and includes a rap break by American hip hop artist B.O.B. The song begins with these steamy words that will make some blush: “Hot hot heat between you and me/I’m burning up inside/You shock me with your ways/Ain’t polite for me to say/Like a firecracker blowin’ up the sky/You don’t know, you don’t see/All this static electricity (whoa-oa-oa)/And every time you touch me right/It’s like oh-oh-oh, oh my/Oh my, Oh my.” ‘Free’, the breezy lead single with Jonathan Berry on guitar, is about coming to the realization that an unhealthy relationship needs to end no matter how hard it is: “Who is gonna be the first to say ‘enough’?/Who is going to be the first one to find true love?/We don’t let go/We can’t get close/I still need you and you still need me/This tug of war/Can’t go on anymore/Nobody wins from this misery/Free/Oh, can’t you see/I want to be, I want you to be/Free?”
‘Liar’ finds Haley thinking aloud about a relationship on the rocks: “I don’t want apologies/I don’t need your sympathy/But this honesty is killing me/I learned my lessons well/Ooooo/So let me keep lying to myself/Let me get lying to myself/I’m not calling you a liar/I just wish you were.” ‘Wasted Tears’ has a driving, percussive beat. This song will resonate with a large portion of female listeners: “Boy you really made me look a fool/You stole my heart and left it black and blue/But I can see now that the clouds are clear/I’ve been cryin’ wasted, wasted tears/So take your promises, get on your way/I’m burning memories up in flames/Cause I can see now that the clouds are clear/I’ve been cryin’ wasted, wasted tears.”
‘Undone’ is a pretty ballad. All instruments are played by Rune Westberg. This song again finds Haley heartbroken: “I’m sorry I let me fall for you/I can erase you and forget you, but I can’t undo you/You’re the hand I can’t hold,, the words I’m not told when I’m lonely/And I don’t want you back/I just want to have what you took from me…/Love leaves a black hole when it dies/How can I ever love again?/I’ve come undone.” ‘Now that you’re Here’ is a commercial sounding song of romantic ecstasy with backing vocals by Haley and Chris DeStefano: “I never thought I’d feel so divine/You’re like poetry, desire justified/You’re a legend now, that will never die/Now that you’re here/Almost torture now/This insanity/As you captivate every inch of me/You’re taking me so far away when you’re pulling me near/Now that you’re here (2X).”
‘Wonderland’ is a positive rally cry: “Come on sister/Stand up for love/Come on everybody, raise up for love/Come on sister, no more crying/It’s around the corner, ain’t no denying…/Fairytales do come true/If you want them to/Whoa (it’s a love that’s real, gonna make you feel), wonderland.” Victor Indrizzo plays drums on ‘Keep Coming Back’, a song with a playful sound, that has a lover encouraging his/her partner to move on: “So why’d you keep coming, why’d you keep coming back?/Thought your bags were already packed/Why’d you keep coming/Why’d you keep coming back?/Can’t move forward stuck in the past/Why’d you keep coming, why’d you keep coming back?/Take your train down another track/Why’d you keep coming, why did you keep coming back?”
‘Hit the Ground Runnin’’ finds Haley bold and self-assured and has a peppy chorus: “I hit the ground running, running, running (2X)/You can’t hold a rebel down, cause I’ll be breakin’ out/The spirit’s gotta be free/I hit the ground running, running, running/So don’t go following me.” The album ends with the optimistic ‘Walking on Heaven’. Here are some of the words: “They call me crazy, but I’m just waiting/For the world around me to change/I’m thinking maybe if we look inside/We’ll find that love and peace of mind/Can’t see their halos/Can’t feel their wings, no/But I got faith that the angels will sing.”
Fans of good soul and jazz music will enjoy LISTEN UP! Haley’s vocals are sultry beyond her years and seem to invite the listener to come hither. The photos of her included with the CD are sexy but tasteful. She is a beautiful girl. I hope she finds a new label home sooner than later. I’m giving this album 83%. For more info visit facebook.com/HaleyReinhart and twitter.com/haleyreinhart.