Thursday, March 28, 2013

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Before today, I had not considered Carly Rose Sonenclar to be trained enough to present as a good recording artist to check out.

To those of you who haven't kept up with the X Factor USA, Sonenclar is 13, and second place on the second season of the show.

For her audition, Carly stunned the judges (including Simon Cowell) with her powerful rendition of Feelin' Good by Nina Simone. For her interview preparing to go on the show, Carly said
"I want to bring the soul back to pop. My record would be a mix of those two genres because I think that is something that is not really out there right now. I could fill that gap and appeal to a wide range of ages. I think I have the X factor because I have a uniquely mature sound and style for my age."
However, I have not posted about her at all until now. Despite the fact that the voters and judges loved her, like L.A. Reid, I noticed and was bothered by her penchant for oversinging. Her versions of Your Song and Imagine were prime examples of this, while Hallelujah had a perfect Jeff Buckley rendition, it was too much if she aimed for the original, Leonard Cohen version.

Recently, Carly Rose released two covers recorded in a studio - a mashup of After Tonight and I Knew You Were Trouble, naming the combo After Tonight There's Trouble. However, I considered the mashup still too oversung and "try hard" to be deemed a good song. In other words, I wouldn't download it if it were free on iTunes.


Her cover of Bruno Mars's Runaway Baby? Better than the original. What I loved is that I listened to it, and she didn't try to match a very powerful voice to fast music that fits Bruno. Rather, she made it slower and incorporated some soul instruments, and while that alone may not appeal to many, it was clear that she had worked on her skills by not trying to dominate the music. Later, the music speeds up, closer to the original sound, but once again, Sonenclar holds herself back. She's getting far better, and if this is more like the skill she'll demonstrate on her album, I will pay for it.

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