Review: Leilani Wolfgramm – Rebel

Review: Leilani Wolfgramm – Rebel


Leilani Wolfgramm – Rebel
LWTrack Listing:
1.) Sunshine
2.) Empty
3.) Herbivore (featuring Ozzie)
4.) Delay (featuring Gonzo)
5.) Intro (featuring Hor!zen)
6.) Gold
7.) I Burn
8.) Rebel
9.) Herbivore Dub (featuring E.N. Young)
10.) Love is Ours (bonus track)

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Record Label: Roots Musician Records
Official Website: Leilani Wolfgramm Website

Artist Background:
Leilani Wolfgramm is a roots-pop-reggae singer-songwriter from Orlando, Florida. For some rock-reggae fans, she is new to the ever-growing scene. But, for others—especially fans of Hor!zen—Wolfgramm is a familiar face, and name. She got her start in 2011 playing alongside her brothers in the dub-reggae band, Hor!zen. In 2013, Wolfgramm jumped into a solo career with the release of the 8-track EP, “I Burn.” In the summer of 2014, she teamed up with producer E.N Young to release Rebel.

Album Review:
Rebel is a strong showing by Leilani Wolfgramm. The album is full of accessible tunes with strong grooves and predictable reggae sounds, like “Sunshine,” “Delay” and “Gold.” There are some collaboration songs, where Ozzie (We Should Smoke), Gonzo (Tribal Seeds) and Hor!zen lend their talents. Oh, and don’t forget the unwritten (and cliché) rule of including at least two weed inspired tracks — namely “I Burn” and “Herbivore.”

The album starts out with the island-reggae tune, “Sunshine.” The tune has a solid groove and tempo changes that give the song a smooth ebb and flow. About three-quarters through the song, there is an island-native drum breakdown, which feels like an American Indian drum circle. The breakdown has an almost spiritual feeling. Other strong tracks include, “Empty,” a love song about loss and “Intro,” a rock-dancehall tune about urban ills.

Although you won’t hear anything groundbreaking on Rebel, you will hear Wolfgramm’s potential ticket to big things—namely her voice. Wolfgramm’s voice is unique in some ways and familiar in others. It’s Joss Stone-raspy, meets Ingrid Michaelson-pop, meets Cherine Anderson-reggae. But, sadly, with the exception of a couple of tunes, like “I Burn” and “Love Is Ours,” Wolfgramm’s voice gets lost in the mix. Generally, the album feels overproduced; especially the unnecessarily heavy vocal effects and harmonies, which bury her vocals. Wolfgramm’s voice would have been better served by limiting the effects and stripping down several of the tracks, giving the album a more singer-songwriter vibe — think Cas Haley or Matt McHugh.

The rock-reggae scene is in desperate need of new and fresh talent, which, among other areas, is noticeably lacking in the “young female talent department.” Wolfgramm, and artists like her, not only add to the diversity of the scene, but also to the growing list of talented female artists. Wolfgramm is poised to make a name for herself and there is a good shot that she will be at the top of this list very soon.

Written & Reviewed By: Kit Chalberg

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]