Jessica Rhaye is a name that is probably familiar to those that spend any amount of time appreciating the talent that comes from the east coast. She recently released her album ‘Song In Me’ much to the delight of her awaiting fans. With a voice that carries the listener away to another place almost instantaneously, if you have not listened to Rhaye previously, this is the album you should start with.
The eight track album is downright amazing. From narrative love songs to songs about breakups and how to get through them, Rhaye has a song for everyone. The happy-go-lucky sound from ‘Crash and Burn’ fades into the slower ‘Sun will Shine for You’, a song about picking yourself back up and not letting your happiness be taken away from you. The lyrics “Please don’t give up, you’ve got to pick up what’s left of you, don’t let them steal your love, don’t let them break your heart in two,” fits into a slow build of that give the song a tone graceful assurance.
The country influence is more present in some songs than others, giving the album more depth. ‘Good To Be Alive In The Country’ is probably the best example of Rhaye’s country stylings, complete with the twang and high notes. Even without twang, the heartbreaks, and the wayward dogs, the album gets built around some decidedly country bones. The songs are sweet, but to the point. ‘My World’, is a touching ballad written to show just how much someone means. “Thank you my love, my life, for sharing each moment, for laughing, for loving, understanding my heart, I love you, I do, I love you,” might be as straight forward as it gets, but there’s an inherently earnest quality to Rhaye’s work that makes it endearing.
The title track closes out the album with what starts as a quiet, relaxed song, building on a simple acoustic guitar accompanied by Rhaye’s vocals, but throw in some percussion, a piano, and a choir and you end with an anthem of hope. It is the perfect ending to this album, with its harmonious vocals and beautiful backing music.
Overall the album is phenomenal through and through. Fans were no doubt thrilled to see this release. It’s an undoubtedly heartfelt album of simple themes, but shines when it comes to Rhaye’s voice. It goes to show why Rhaye is a staple in New Brunswick music scene.