First Album Fridays: Alex Baird – Lemon Tree

American singer Alex Baird has released her first album entitled Lemon Tree. The themes are love and heartbreak. Her inspiration was her late grandmother, a singer in the 1960s whose voice was incredible and soulful. 

The music is Jazz /Vocal Jazz. The musical styles parallel the Jazz sounds that I’ve heard in various festivals, including the one in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The song All I Needed parallels Norah Jones’ ballad Don’t Know Why, except a bit more upbeat. The album has an incredible musical richness that combines elements of old-fashioned Jazz with contemporary beats.

The upbeat songs in the album are It’s You I DigLemon Tree, Don’t Let Me Lose My Way, As Long as You Want Me, and Connection. These songs have a Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra vibe. There’s an incredible nostalgic feel to it. Also, the piece Connection parallels Aretha Franklin’s Respect. The upbeat tunes have an impressive intricacy.

The ballads on the record include All I Needed Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, As Long as You Want Me, and Save Your Love for MeThese pieces have an old-school feel. As Long as You Want Me parallels Frank Sinatra’s I Get a Kick Out of You but with a Jazzy touch. Other works like Save Your Love for Me, You’re in My Arms to StayNever to Be Yours, It’s No Time to Be Blue, and Still Crazy After All These Years have a modern twist. The parallels are impressive, including two examples: Save Your Love for Me, which sounds similar to  Dream a Little Dream by Doris Day, and You’re In My Arms to Stay, which parallels Lionel Richie’s Hello. These ballads have remarkable compositions, rich in sound and rhythm.

Great work to the following musicians: Darrell Grant (piano), Clark Sommers (bass), Mark Ferber (drums), Thomas Marriott (trumpet), and Lucas Winter (guitar). They play in perfect harmony with one another.
The album has impressive rhythm and style, with a sound similar to 1950s Jazz.

Alex Baird’s voice is rhythmic and rich. She sings with incredible grace. Her vocal style has an old-school parallel to Jazz artists from the 50s. She also has a way of singing similar to that of Nora Jones and Adele.

The lyrics are primarily romantic, but there are also sad pieces. The songs have incredible freestyle writing. The words are poetic and have remarkable depth and richness to them. Each tune is well-written, with heart and soul.

The romantic songs on the album are It’s You I Dig, Lemon Tree, Don’t Let Me Lose My Way, Connection, Save Your Love for Me, You’re in My Arms to Stay, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, and It’s No Time to Be Blue.  The song It’s You I Dig is a sweet love song celebrating the significant other. There’s a lovely simplicity. Lemon Tree is an intelligent metaphor representing what one can do when given an opportunity, including a chance at love. Don’t Let Me Lose My Way is about focusing on oneself while learning to love someone – it’s about figuring out the balance, which the song nicely describes. The piece As Long as You Want Me is heartfelt and soulful, honouring true love. Save Your Love for Me is a cute tune about being under the spell of love and asking the partner to focus the love on her. The piece You’re In My Arms To Stay represents a genuine love the woman has for her significant other, which nicely tells the story of being there through the good and the bad. The song Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered is a child-like and sweet piece describing the effects of falling in love.

There are two songs about living life fully: Connection, and It’s No Time To Be Blue. The piece Connection is a lovely tune about appreciating the little things and celebrating life and love. The tune It’s No Time to Be Blue is a hopeful piece about trying to stay optimistic, including in challenging times.

Other pieces cover heartbreak which is the case with All I Needed, Never to Be Yours, and Still Crazy After All These Years. The song All I Needed is a sad piece about a failed relationship and wondering if it could have been different through the “what ifs” and nostalgia. It’s a relatable tune. The piece Never to Be Yours is a sad piece about the internal conflict of a woman whose past love keeps hurting and disappointing her. It describes the complex struggle of letting go, which isn’t as easy as one imagines. The song Still Crazy After All These Years is about remembering an old flame after running to the ex. It’s an interesting piece about remembering the good times but being mindful of how the relationship didn’t work out.

The songs tell incredible stories, rich in language and poetry – full of heart and soul.

The album Lemon Tree is available. 

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