Review: ‘Illustrious’ by Solaya Love
Written by Tamara M. on 7 December 2018
Reminiscent of Bjork with a cross of Ariana Grande, add in a pinch of quirkiness, a dash of strong vocals, and a sprinkling of contemporary and classic elements, singer Solaya Love brings a refreshing sound and a bit of edge to contemporary pop with her album, “Illustrious.” With her lilting, yet powerful voice, the Canadian vocal pop/EDM singer offers audience a nice burst of flair and a little bit of the unexpected that makes for a relatable, interesting album that seems to hit the right notes more often than not. With a lofty title of “Illustrious,” the young singer’s album seems to foreshadow the fact that she can be a formidable presence in the future.
Though described as a pop/EDM artist, Solaya Love infuses a bevy of genres, including reggae, hip-hop, rock, blues, metal and world music to make this a suitable album for listeners of varying tastes, which covers the continuum of human emotions and experience. “Let it Go” starts off the album and, as a precursor, begins slowly, dramatically and even overly exaggerated as it finds its groove as a great dance tune that’s tailor made for the club, a house party or a Friday night pick-me-up.
Featuring themes of an unwavering love for music, relationships and just enjoying life, “Illustrious” is a smooth, relaxing, playful album that has a serene quality about it. This fact is much appreciated as it offers a seamless transition through the 11 tracks where the listener can easily indulge in one sitting with minimal skipping. Each song serves its purpose to pull the album together as a cohesive unit.
While pop themes may dominate the album, Solaya Love’s voice and performing incorporates a noticeably strong, sultry, swagger-tastic breadth that is perfectly suited for tracks like “Pushing the Air.” Contrasting with that sound, “Never Waken” offers a whimsical, floating, more airy feel to it to showcase Solaya’s range.
“Space in Between” and “Sexy Silk” bring in the sexy factor that isn’t overtly sexual, if not sanitized, in a fun, Solaya-like manner to help balance out the album’s sweet innocence. “Feels So Good” offers a bolder, more electrifying burst of sexuality to up the ante with a feverish climax.
Though the album couldn’t exactly be described as overly deep or particularly thought-provoking, listeners are likely to appreciate the air of joy, happiness and playfulness that dominate the album. Solaya Love offers more than a solid effort with plenty of room of growth for the future as she expertly intertwines between genres, plays with different tones and styles and flexes her versatility.