Rena Scott - Let Me Love You (2007)

Rena Scott
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Detroit has always been an enclave of talent and determination so another outstanding performer should make no difference. Rena Scott defies this high assertion, rewarding listeners with a talent at once familiar, yet today even more new.

This Amor Records release of love ballads and mid-tempo gems is a testament to the influences that Rena Scott listened to and sang behind.  Shades of Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle peek through her vocals as does her major influence, Ms. Aretha herself.  Her blend of these styles produces a musical sexiness that is easy to enjoy and interprets her lyrics with the surety of a UN translator. 

Detroit has always been an enclave of talent and determination so another outstanding performer should make no difference. Rena Scott defies this high assertion, rewarding listeners with a talent at once familiar, yet today even more new.

This Amor Records release of love ballads and mid-tempo gems is a testament to the influences that Rena Scott listened to and sang behind.  Shades of Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle peek through her vocals as does her major influence, Ms. Aretha herself.  Her blend of these styles produces a musical sexiness that is easy to enjoy and interprets her lyrics with the surety of a UN translator. 

The first song, "A Love Thang" has already generated radio response and returns us to the slower offerings of dance divas back in the day.  Yet, this mellow introduction is no indication of the journey to be taken.  The lovelorn lyrics of title track, "Let Me Love You," will have you empathizing with the versatile siren, but don't cry for her Argentina. Your dance diva suspicions will be raised in her selection "Good To Me" (also featuring the most contagious use of organ chords since Booker T et al.).

"The songs on this album reflect my growth through experiences," says Scott.  "All of these songs tell the story of love, life, and the truth that in love, there are good times and bad times. These are the things that I am passionate about and the feelings I write and sing about."  And she does this well as testified by her replacing the departing Randy Crawford on the Crusaders world recognized song, "Street Life," and wowing crowds not only in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Atlanta but even the non-English speaking audiences of Montreaux, Switzerland.

Highlights like "I Know It's Right" bring back the pleasant memories of emotions and The Emotions.  Playful, heartfelt, and displaying a diverse vocal charisma, Ms. Scott is a an aural blend of smooth and sultry that her back-up singers emulate with the same professionalism that must have driven Aretha Franklin to include the teenage Scott onstage. "Remember" is a smoky, whispery ballad already enjoying radio play.  Its power is in its simplicity, and Ms. Scott reveals hints of the gospel roots gained in church that are almost prerequisite for coming out of Detroit. "Move On It" is a mid-tempo concoction just waiting for a remix and her vocals have a whip appeal that would make any listener jealous of her man.

Solid performances on "Day and Night," "I'll Keep Coming Back" and "Plaything" as well as the memorable other woman anthem, "Not Forever," round out a dish that is both savory and sweet, and true to the intentions of her new label and release - to rekindle the popularity of R&B.  

"Life is a onetime journey that should be filled with a lot of love," says Scott.  With "Let Me Love You," Scott pays forward her musical blessings despite their ups and downs, and we are grateful for her persistence.

By Arnold W. Stovell

 
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