Verdict: 2.5 / 5
There’s a difficult stage for an artist when they get too linked to a certain piece/ character/ work/ style of theirs. Some can take the Spock route, first distancing themselves from it, and the later embracing what that piece did for them, or they can go completely off the walls and change completely, or they can just gradually drift along and never really break free. Lea Michelle is pretty much in that last area still.
Lea is of course famous from playing Rachel Berry in the TV show Glee, and therein lies the problem with this, her first solo album as a singer. Say what you will about Miley Cyrus, but when she decided to break away from how she was viewed, it was calculated and executed with the dynamic flair worthy of any high level caper movie. She knew what she was doing and every action was calculated with expert precision to maximize her visibility in the public. And while I’m not saying Lea should have gone that route, but at the same time it feels like she hasn’t gone far enough. This album may as well have been “Lea Michelle sings as Rachel Berry.” It’s very hard to tell where the Glee character and real person begin.
The problem is, I think, that Lea has invested a lot of herself into her character, so that the two are only different in a few ways that the average listener wouldn’t immediately know. Even on the most personal track, the closer to the album, where she sings about the death of her real life boyfriend Corey Monteith, which I sympathize with as a tragic thing to go through, enough of Rachel was still invested with his character that it feels like a song Glee could have used.
Aside from this, the songs are just okay I guess. Not as vapid as some pop stars, but not memorable in any way. I think she was trying a few things on this album, but I also think she needs to try a few more for her next one, before she really impresses the world. Pretty average all round; in the true meaning of that word.