Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

by Elle Varner
     
 

It would be restrictive to compare Elle Varner to Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan, but the parallels are inescapable. As with her predecessors' debuts, Perfectly Imperfect sounds like the assured work of a singer and songwriter -- one who co-composes and co-produces her material -- who is on her third or fourth album. There are vocal similarities, too.See more details below

Overview

It would be restrictive to compare Elle Varner to Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan, but the parallels are inescapable. As with her predecessors' debuts, Perfectly Imperfect sounds like the assured work of a singer and songwriter -- one who co-composes and co-produces her material -- who is on her third or fourth album. There are vocal similarities, too. Varner's delivery is magnetizing with a slight rasp, though she's neither as jazz-rooted nor as showy as Chrisette, and she never goes in the red like Jazmine. After a couple spins of Perfectly Imperfect -- principally made with young bucks Andrew "Pop" Wansel and Warren "Oak" Felder, along with some assistance from Varner's father, Jimmy -- her individuality pokes through. There's the playful anguish expressed in "Refill," a booming rattler with some twinkle and jittery fiddle, where Varner likens nerve-wracked flirting to acting tipsy: "Feel like a conversational lush, and I don't know how much is too much." Few songs evoke emotional butterflies as brilliantly as "I Don't Care," a production that swoons and stutters to augment Varner's love-struck bind: "I'm not designed for this/If I could speak in code, I wouldn't be so bold/I can't control my lips, lips, lips." It's something of a paradox that, for all of Varner's creative certitude, an overwhelming majority of her lyrics are self-deprecating. While the romping "Sound Proof Room" has a lot of presence, the album is thick with apprehension, doubt, and distanced longing. There's so much of it that one fights the urge to tell the woman to take figurative and literal looks in the mirror. This doesn't detract from the material; in fact, Varner's feelings are conveyed in such imaginative and clever ways that the second half's strummy pop and folk detours go down smoothly. This is one of 2012's most pleasing and promising debuts. The wait for the follow-up, whatever the length, will be far too long.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/07/2012
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0886975913220
catalogNumber:
759132
Rank:
30313

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elle Varner   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Kenneth Crouch   Strings,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Gene Lake   Drums
Jonathan Maron   Bass
Stan Slotter   Trumpet
Jimmy Varner   Bass,Piano,Keyboards
Jeff Byrd   Percussion
Olga Konopelsky   Violin
Emma Kummrow   Violin
Mikelyn Roderick   Background Vocals
Gregory Teperman   Violin
Mark Ward   Cello
Nina Cottman   Violin
Dave Wood   Acoustic Guitar
Steve Mostyn   Bass,Guitar,Omnichord
Carl Cox   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Stephen Tirpak   Trombone
Yohimbe   Guitar
Leonhard Bartussek   Cello
Melanie Daniels   Background Vocals
Jr. Charles Parker   Violin
Queen Rose   Violin
James Cage   Trumpet
Karen Anna Schubert   French Horn
Robert Thomas   Musician
Dru DeCaro   Guitar
Alex Evans   Bass
Thiannar Gomes   Guitar
Robert Taylor   Musician
Nayan Lassiter   Bass
John Emmet Walsh   Trumpet
David Foreman   Guitar

Technical Credits

Dexter Wansel   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Horn Conductor,String Conductor
Conley Abrams   Engineer
Ronald Bell   Composer
Robert "Spike" Mickens   Composer
Jimmy Varner   Composer,Producer,Vocal Producer
Marlon Williams   Composer
Suzette Williams   Producer
Donna Johnson   Composer
Peter Edge   Producer
Marcel Hall   Composer
Tanisha Broadwater   Composer
Miki Tsutsumi   Engineer
Jeff Robinson   Producer
Chess Club   Producer
Warren "Oak" Felder   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Allan Fox   Composer
George Brown   Composer
Stuart White   Engineer
Dennis Thomas   Composer
Shuckburgh   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Robert Bell   Composer
Claydes Smith   Composer
Andrew "Pop" Wansel   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Jermaine Cole   Composer
Kristin Lum   Art Direction
Elle Varner   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Ronald "Flippa" Colson   Programming
Donald Meadows   Composer
Adrien Baker   Composer
Varners   Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Producer,Vocal Recording
Roy Morgan   Composer
Darhyl "DJ" Camper   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation

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