Alan Leatherman’s album Her appears as a conceptual ode to love. Beginning with the smooth and soulful tones of The Promise Of You, the music has the brightness of a pop ballad and the hazy calm of a softly orchestral jazz piece. The instrumentation throughout this project has a certain professionalism to it that helps it strike as a complete and world-ready release, seeming almost like a slept on classic from yesteryear.
Gone keeps that soul alive and explodes into life for what is a beautifully uplifting and inspiring hook section. The songwriter’s story telling abilities come through more and more as the songs progress, as do the various traits and skills of his leading voice. There’s a certain confidence and even swagger that emerges here and remains present for whenever the moment needs weight and boldness. At all other times, his voice showcases a seductive delicacy that whispers in your ear.
Green Light opens up with a retro moment of scene setting not dissimilar to classic films from the 50’s or earlier. There’s a smokey jazz bar feel to the double bass line and the space surrounding you as the song pours out, a similar sentiment comes through in the lyrics actually. The piano part refreshingly breaks free from the rules of modern pop. Following this, the title track brings about a full and vibrant soundscape, instrumentally loaded and emotionally joyful, featuring some notably reflective lyrics about life and love.
Things calm down significantly for Never Say. That space returns, the lone sound of a few simple piano notes, the raw presence of the voice. The song mixes melancholy with hope, though the former is the most prominent feeling received from it all. Simple Little Moment opens up with a contrasting sense of undeniable optimism and possibility. There’s a sincerity to the sound of Alan’s voice here, the authenticity of which makes the warmth of that hook hit with additional strength.
Structurally many of this album’s songs present a back and forth between a mellow verse and an oppositely energized hook, later building up into a crescendo of passionate moments and effects. Blame Game continues the set up, offering now a touch of rhythm and blues, as well as some entertaining word play, all of which adds further character to the collection. More emerges as a thoughtful and again reflective bit of songwriting. The mellow pace of the song leaves plenty of space around that leading vocal line, so it’s easy to sit back and soak up the sentiment and the story.
What Now My Love re-introduces the personality and flair of that double bass line. The simple tap of the beat alongside of this takes you back to that jazz bar. The artist’s leading voice in this case has a theatrical touch of Frank Sinatra or Michael Bublé about it, a passionate and meandering melody captivates with its story and openness. All of this leads smoothly into the final song of the release, the bright and beautiful Yours Alone. The full band sound returns, soaking you in good vibes and all of the wonderful musical moments that are intermittently scattered elsewhere throughout the album. Fans of the jazz, soul, and big band worlds alike will find themselves right at home with this release.