I first heard Leona Naess on the soundtrack of the movie Whatever it Takes with her first major single, “Charm Attack.” Well, the movie sucked and I disregarded Naess as another up and coming artist who record labels shamelessly push on a teenage movie soundtrack for exposure. But Leona’s third effort has definitely silenced my criticism. This girl doesn’t need shameless promotion; Leona has excellent pop sensibility as well as incredible talent. Aside from that, Naess just strikes me as a chill person, likable not only for the fact that her music is just plain good, but also because you’re convinced she has lived every word of her lovelorn lyrics (I mean, I could be wrong) My favorite song, “Dues to Pay,” is a soulful number about a jerk on whom you waste your time. Naess sings, in her cool and jazzy voice, “It’s only been pain loving you/ you’re my dues to pay/ I hunt down the night that brought you here/ and made you this way.” “Don’t Use My Broken Heart” is equally spectacular and a message to lowlifes everywhere. “Don’t use the records I played you/ to seduce or reduce what remains/ you know as well as I do/ they only will remind you/ that you’ll never have this heart again.” The rest of the CD follows in this suit, but the material doesn’t feel redundant; everything falls together nicely. I loved this album, and now I think I’m a converted Leona fan. Her other two discs are also finely crafted. I guess this goes to show that first impressions are mostly for shit. Naess is definitely not the teeny-bopper, movie-theme-song type, but an artistic force to be reckoned with.
Archived article by Sophia Asare