CD review: Elle Varner

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Perfectly Imperfect

Elle Varner



Sounds almost perfect.


2012 had some great surprises and Elle Varner was one of them. The newbie came on to the scene with such a bang you would think she was there from day one. She has husky registers that remind you of an emotional Alicia Keys on those heartbreaking ballads of hers.

Let’s start with Refill, the song that has Varner nominated for the forthcoming Grammys in the Best R&B Song category. It is comprised of layers of laid-back bass beats with a folk violin riding on top with interesting effects. The lyrics are clever and make the 23-year-old appear more mature than her years.

She slows down on Not Tonight and suddenly you are back in the 1990s when the New Jack swing was the in thing. She talks about how her love interest has her so intoxicated that she wishes she’d break the rules and approach the guy.

On Welcome Home she speaks of the perfect love life where he does his bit, while she does hers and insinuates that love can be found anywhere. Again it is a well put together song that shows how vocally mature Varner is.

Hers is not the deep neo-soul kind of R&B that the likes of Emeli Sande and Ledisi thrive on, she is as direct as you can get so you don’t have to look up anything. On So Fly she sings her heart out about her physical insecurities and you’d think she is a high school teen.

This is not a CD that will change the world, but it is good for a debut effort. – Munyaradzi Vomo

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