Love's Experience is not a perfect album. A couple of songs in the middle of the CD, "Friends" and "Stay Encouraged," don't measure up to the quality on the rest of the album. It's not that they are terrible songs, it's just that they interrupt the flow of the narrative Soccorro has going on the rest of the disc, which tells the story of the hopeful beginning, conflict in the middle and devastating ending of a relationship, as well as the protagonists efforts to pick up the pieces.
Love's Experience works best when Soccorro stays true to the narrative. The disc has a contemporary, radio friendly sound. A song like "Tell Me" has a mellow feel that could make it a fixture on adult radio stations and stations geared toward younger listeners. The standout track, however, is "Whatcha Gon' Be," in which Soccorro expresses frustration that the man with whom she is involved can't seem to decide where he wants the relationship to go. The lyrics give the song an old-school feel even as those programmed drums give "Whatcha Gon' Be" a beat that will go easy on young ears. "Watcha Gon' Be" also has the one element that any modern R&B song must have - a catchy hook. And "Are you my man/Are you my friend/Don't need another one of them/Can you tell me what the deal is/Cuz I ain't feelin' this," ranks right up there with Beyonce's "to the left."
Soccorro channels her inner Toni Braxton on the next two songs, "The Truth" and "Too Late." Another standout is the up-tempo song "Let's Go Dancing." This is the song where Soccorro goes clubbing with her girlfriends to forget her problems. That inevitably leads to "Get To Know You," a nice mid-tempo tune that would have been even better without the guest rap. Whenever an artist puts one of the rap interludes in a song, I usually mute the rap part to see if the song would be just as good without it.
Soccorro is clearly an artist who rejects the belief that using technology condemns music to sounding overproduced or mechanical. Soccorro isn't using technology to hide lyrics that are clichÃ© or a substandard singing voice. Soccorro grew up with this technology, and she clearly has the skill and confidence to make all those bells and whistles work to her advantage.
By Howard Dukes