Cayla Brooke – Plush Red Chair – Album Review

Cayla BrookeCayla Brooke is a rip-roaring solo artist who has defied societal standards with her body-positive sonic revolution since 2013. Based out of Vancouver, Brooke’s music reflects jazzy sophistication with a rock-and-roll attitude. Having celebrated a Christmas album and a critically acclaimed theatrical homage to the late Eva Cassidy, Cayla Brooke is now touring behind her 2017 album, Plush Red Chair.

Cayla Brooke – Plush Red Chair

Plush Red Chair comes flying out of the gates with its first track, “Divalicious,” a fun upbeat funk tune. It begins with a punchy horn line followed by Brooke’s voluminous growl that can grab the attention of a packed room. Brooke displays her attitude with malismatic vocal runs and gritty belting. With lyrics expressing confidence and empowerment, “Divalicious” is the perfect self-love anthem for women or female-identifying people of any age.

Brooke embraces a variety of styles with songs like “Fool,” set in a roaring 20’s jazz cabaret club filled with smoke and the whispers of nighttime adultery. A sultry Fleetwood Mac piano part creeps along until the band comes in with a rock steady beat that mirrors its melody. Brooke sings personal lyrics about surviving a foolish relationship, joined by John Lee Sanders in an electric ex-lovers’ duet. “Fool” is a great example of how Brooke mixes jazz with rock, blues, and soul.

“Moment” offers a gentler, more comforting glimpse into Brooke’s artistic vision. A slow and innocent love ballad, “Moment” embodies the feeling of being a new mom with lyrics about self-less devotion and unconditional love. Brooke sounds like an angelic guardian angel singing sweetly, accompanied by a languid piano melody and a deep warm cello counterpart. The piano and cello reappear in an explosive duet just before the bridge, driving home that rushing feeling of love at first sight.

The title track off the album, “Plush Red Chair,” dives into another stylistic, very jazzy realm. Brooke’s vocals are slightly over-pronounced in the style like Ella Fitzgerald used to sing, using material imagery to create metaphors about embracing being different than her surroundings. “Plush Red Chair” puts a refreshing twist on traditional jazz music using technical elements to break the rules of jazz songwriting, all set in a sophisticated cocktail bar.

“Shake The Dust” begins with Brooke singing a slow and beautiful melody about the courage it takes to get up each morning and dust the dirt off your shoes before starting anew. That melody eventually turns into a gospel-cheering embrace of moving forward and not looking back at past negativities. Brooke’s lyrics let the listener know everything’s going to be okay, echoed by a choir of sunshiny backing vocals. An inspirational song that is bright and hopeful for the future,  “Shake The Dust” can give anyone a shot of self-confidence on a rainy day.

In her latest album, “Plush Red Chair,” Cayla Brooke uses her musical suave to prove that women can be sexy without being objectified. Cayla Brooke is the empowering light-up sign that every mild person with a dream has been looking for. We want to know what YOU think about the music of Cayla Brooke. Let us know what you think and get in touch on social media! Also, make sure to let Cayla know that you heard her music here first on Indie Music Plus! As always, thank you for reading and continuing to support indie music of all genres from all over the world!

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