(05 February 2000) The 1996 album by Renée Safier The 14th Of February
is a collection of ten songs of varying textures and styles each featuring
absolutely stunning vocal work. Produced by Renée with Andy Hill,
the album's tracks include one song by jazz writer Bob Malone, another
by Bob Dylan - "Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)" - and seven by Andy Hill.
The album's final track entitled "The Night I Left
Town" was written by Larry and Terry Tutor. Reviewed below, Renée and
Andy's latest album, Something Unbroken, features songs by many
of the same writers. Renée is featured as a jazz vocalist on a 1998
album with Bob Malone entitled They All Laughed. Soundbites
from this album can be heard
Renée's first "solo" album is a tremendous introduction to her vocal
talent as well as that of the songwriting team. The album is perfect
gift for partners of either gender this time of year and we hope that
this review will motivate our readers to explore it further as the
first Valentine's Day of the new Millenium approaches. The album
can be ordered from the artists'
The 14th Of February opens with the welcoming "I Want To
Believe Me," a light and highly accessible ballad accompanied primarily
by guitars and piano. Backing vocals include both Renée's
multi-tracking and additional texture that Andy provides. The title
track is a slow, jazz/blues oriented number with Renée's vocals
accompanied strictly by piano with multitracked choir-like backing
vocals in spots. Vocals and piano are a true testament to the artists'
"Homeless Night" is a light and very sensitive rock song performed
as a lovely duet that will appeal to everyone. Andy and Renée's vocal
work as well as the whistle and piccolo parts by Nelson Rangell are
highly notable. "Three Women," certainly one of the best tracks on
the album, is a lovely ballad performed much in the same style.
Renée sings the jazzy "What Are You Doing Here With Me?" written by
Bob Malone primarily with light piano accompaniment
with a small saxophone part that adds the right ambiance to the track.
The pace picks up and instrumental accompaniment increases in "Man Of
Virtue," which combines jazz with rock and country sounds. Bob Malone
is again featured on piano. "Fear To Eternity," one of the more rocking
numbers on the album, builds upon this sound. The Dylan ballad
"Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)" illustrates Renée's range and power
with her stunning lead vocal work in the verses and symphonic
instrumentation and backing vocal work with Andy and Steve Curto
backing in the choruses.
"Schopenhauer's Blues (Everybody Passes By)" is a fast paced and
very highly accessible number and was one of our favourite tracks
on the album with its combination of styles. A range of stunning vocals
are perfectly complimented by keyboards. The lovely ballad "The
Night That I Left Town" combining country and western with rock
styles concludes the album. Andy Hill's guitar solo is highly
Renée Safier's debut album is best characterised by its
stunning vocal work, superb songwriting and great instrumental
performances. She demonstrates an uncanny ability to capture
the listener in a wide range of heartfelt song styles. Female
vocalist enthusiasts will adore Renée's recordings; her first
album is worth a journey and is a must listen.