(25 September 2005) Blues rock indie artist V. K. Lynne is a straight shooting singer/songwriter who has been compared to Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt. Her ten track album, Black Halo, is a collection of personal songs that range from blues rock to thoughtful ballads.
Hailing from the east coast, she left Philadelphia in 2001 and headed to LA to stake her claim to fame. She became the lead singer/co-songwriter for a local LA band, Monogroove, within weeks of her arrival. During her first year in LA, she took a place on Music Connection's Top 100 Unsigned Artists list. Due to the success of her original music, she left the band and formed her own backup ensemble leading to a Rock City News Best Female Vocalist nomination in 2004. The end result is her current CD.
The music on Black Halo is a blend of traditional pop/rock and modern country with fabulous vocals that share her emotions and sensitivity. V has amazing vocal control and clarity of tone. All the songs were written and sung by V. K. This well-produced CD showcases her unmistakable style.
The title track calls attention to her fantastic rock/pop style. Apparently, the song, "Black Halo," started out as a joke. According to V, "I had a friend back in Philly who was African American, and she had this beautiful Afro, and she kept it meticulously, and I'd always pat it and say, 'Ruth, that's gorgeous, like a black halo!' And she said 'Someday you need to write me a song called that!' So I did. But then when we were picking a title for the CD, it took on more meaning. We were sorting through promo shots, and someone said 'Oh, in that one, with your blond hair, you look like an angel--well, a rock and roll angel!' And we decided that a rock and roll angel would have a black halo!"
"Scarlet Rain" has a great acoustic sound, with V's confident and self-assured singing. The hard-hitting "Her End of the Phone" has strong rock and a very upbeat guitar-laden sound. The mood changes with the ballad, "Other Side of My World." Her beautiful, angelic voice rings out clear and true with the flowing instrumentals certainly complementing her vocals.
"Are You Still Here?" opens with a great drum intro. Her straight up style continues with her amazing narrative tones in "My Bones" and "Become Again." Her songs contain a determination and purpose that is beautifully expressed. Her countrified sound comes through in "Trading on 15" with her flawless singing performance and wonderful guitar instrumentals.
The ballad "Baby" has great guitar, bass and drums which only enhance V's candid vocals and lyrics. She concludes with "Leaving the Life" which highlights her beautiful and emotive voice. In a simple, gentle piano background, V's passionate rendition is a stand-out.
She hopes that her songs will help people. "I pray that my songs will comfort and encourage people who've been in similar situations, inspire people who are ready to throw in the towel, and provoke self-examination for those who are not dealing with themselves. Because that's what writing these songs did for me. I think music, and all art, has a responsibility to make the world better - to shed light."
Black Halo is truly a wonderful collection of great songs performed to perfection by V. K. Lynne. Her strong vocals range from subtle tenderness to all out power, mixed with memorable melodies. The music is down-to-earth, well balanced and oh, so sweet. The album is sure to appeal to the listener who wants the rockier edge combined with emotional tenderness.--Audrey Elliot in New York