Internet sensation turned Capitol Records artist, Priscilla Renea has dropped her debut album “Jukebox” and fortunately it’s just as sugary sweet as her electronica/ pop friendly lead single “Dollhouse” (we prefer the acoustic version better). Complete with catchy lyrics (and a super cute video) the song takes a stab at female empowerment in the most underbearing way possible…but it works! Whether she knows it or not the single may end up becoming a female anthem for a younger generation riddled by controlling relationships. “I ain’t a doll, this ain’t a doll house,” she sings matter-o-factly. “You’re way too old to be putting me down like this, and playing around like this!”
The singer/songwriter penned more than half of the album flexing her muscles in a delightful hybrid of poetic expression garnished with life lessons. It’s almost hard to believe that Renea is not a seasoned woman in her 30s, but she’s clearly an old soul. Growing up as a child of the Navy, Renea’s album reflects lots of stories and people that she may have come across while moving from school to school and city to city, without ever growing roots. As such, her music flows in a hodgepodge of simplicity that is as comprehensive as it is entertaining. For example, ‘Rockabye Baby’ tells the story of an unplanned pregnancy and the obstacles that arise as a result. Renea tackles such a serious topic in a way that is original without being overbearing or preachy. On “Bacon and Eggs” she gets campy with her rendition of a 60s style jukebox friendly joint about cooking a nice meal for her man, which comes off as good natured due in part to the high register piano keys adding a little something extra to the track. “Hey Mr. Workerbee” falls along the same lines of a cutesy pop princess offering with more sweet tones underneath as she reminds her significant other not to forget about their love in spite of a busy schedule.
“Baby Please,” finds Renea illustrating her vocal range by trying her hand at your average ballad begging for her loved one’s forgiveness. The formulaic topic fails to deliver the wow factor simply because its been done before and sadly she ads nothing knew to the spin. Similarly “City Love,” gets lost in the shuffle of an otherwise interesting album.
The theme of “Jukebox” revolves around the old saying “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” in that it manages to get a point across in a softer tone rather than boisterous and overbearing. For her first go ‘round Renea does a good job of authenticating her artistic expression. Even though nothing really manages to rise above a steady boil, that’s not always a bad thing. “Jukebox” is a pretty smooth ride null of any huge potholes or blunders, which is admirable and worth a good listen.