An artist like Sebastian is clearly determined to stay true to her own personal sound — one she feels has reached a pinnacle with this new material. She doesn’t strive to achieve anyone else’s mold, which is apparent in her remarkably versatile voice that allows her to transcend genres effortlessly. One moment, she’s making your heart race with a take-no-prisoners approach to a slice of driving, R&B-tinged pop. The next, she’s melting your heart with a soul-inspired ballad. Sebastian is even has the capability to carry a down-and-dirty, loud rocker. The fact that her vocal delivery has been compared to both the soulful croon of Annie Lennox and to the legendary wail of Janis Joplin is a testament to her impressive adaptability.
Raven Heart is a unique pop offering from a singer/songwriter who has roots in Oregon. Her music is hard to put in a generalized category or genre, but she does manage to incorporate elements of indie, rock, folk, and even electronic pop parallel to pop-rock the 90’s. No doubt inspiration comes from daily emotive impressions including a bumper-sticker, scribbles on a wall, signs of various purposes and from the Pacific North West.
As the evocative and imaginative pulse is brought forth as I played her music it reminded me of music derived from elements of all things pop. With all 12 songs performed by Sebastian and her band there’s no questioning any musical credibility here which is established right from the beginning of track 1 “Happy.” Sebastian has a great voice that flutters like a butterfly. The Instrumentation features standard alt rock delivery with a touch of classical with things like electronic/chill/dub overtones. I will add she is not an amateur surrounded but a professional team/band and production team, we’ve all heard our fair share of that recently. Sebastian deserves credit for being a good singer, and superb entertainer.
As the CD unwinds the first few tracks: “Happy”, “Never Enough” and “Crazy, Crazy, Crazy” open the door slowly while effortlessly flowing into a strong collection of 12 songs. Her musical style features a skillful combination of alternative rock, singer/songwriter-esque pop very inviting to the ears. Once again her music reminds me of pop popular in the 90’s – which is not necessarily a bad thing. Other pieces “It’s Me”, “Oh, Spirit” and “Sunday Night Fever” command a strong sense of musical cohesion from Sebastian and her line-up of players. Right away I can hear vocal comparables to Celine Dion, Lara Fabian, Birdy, Lana Del Ray, and Digby. You will note Katy Perry and Brittany Spears are not mentioned here – lol. Since were on the subject I can also hear traces of Annie Lennox, Florence & The Machine, Pink, Kate Bush, Christina Aguilera, Jill Sobule and The Veronicas to Jem.
The CD as a whole provides a well choreographed musical experience with Sebastian in the forefront. I’ve never heard an artist so skillfully combine so many styles of music into one CD. Sebastian holds her own within each style flawlessly. This is not easy to do. All tracks to me are thoughtful and a stellar performance-driven pop that are wonderfully powerful in nature.
“Raven Heart” by Rachel Lynn Sebastian is an incredibly fluid musical statement from beginning to end. It provides brilliant artistic vision from an amazing singer and subsequent musical visionary that’s deserving of far wider recognition than this review. Weather you like electronic pop, alternative rock sensibilities rest assured Rachel Lynn Sebastian is making her presence known in an otherwise commercial myriad of soulless clutter. Perfect pacing, intriguing compositions and a stellar voice have her scoring big here with me! If this release slipped past you then take you may want take notice – music linked below
by Chase Norton