The Bottom Line
It seems that one of the most difficult aspects of putting together first records by former American Idol contestants is coming up with a song and producer that can truly capture the persona of the performer that endeared them to their fans on the show. "Free" has accomplished that task abundantly well. This is clearly a Haley Reinhart record, and her fans will instantly take it to heart. It should serve to introduce a wider audience to her unique vocal talents as well. "Free" introduces a tremendously talented singer while being a very appealing left field pop record all on its own.
- Gorgeous vocals
- Intelligent lyrics of romantic pain
- Exhilarating, swinging production
- No serious missteps here
- Produced by busbee
- Released March 2012 by Interscope
- Included on Album 'Listen Up!'
Guide Review - Haley Reinhart - "Free"
As produced by pop, country and urban veteran busbee, "Free" kicks off with an attention getting piano line followed by Haley Reinhart's first words, "It's not like I'm invisible," sung in her distinctive jazzy rasp of a pop voice. When she breaks into the chorus there is a swing to the production that is irresistible. The breakdown bridge of tinkling piano notes along with the soft side of Haley Reinhart's voice is a thing of beauty as well. By the time the four minutes of "Free" draws to a close with a gorgeous reprise of the chorus complete with chimes in the background, the listener has been taken on a very satisfying musical trip.
Haley Reinhart refers to "Free" as, "an empowering break-up song." The wise words speak about the difficulty in granting each other true freedom in the ruins of an unsuccessful relationship. The song is infused with pain but lacking in bitterness. The lyrics are intelligent without being unnecessarily wordy.
"Free" follows in the recent footsteps of Adele in being a song without a highly specific genre. However, the Adele comparisons end there. Haley Reinhart is a singer with classic pop style that is animated by jazz. Beyond its words about relationships, "Free" also marks the debut of a singer who seems bent on escaping conventions of the pop mainstream. This song could fit comfortably on pop, jazz, and even rock radio playlists. Programmers should be giving an ear to Haley Reinhart. This song will please your listeners. Haley Reinhart performs "Free" live on American Idol March 22, 2012, and her debut album Listen Up! hits stores May 22, 2012.