Leighton Meester’s Heartstrings Excels

Multi-talented Leighton Meester released her debut LP Heartstrings on October 28th. Meester initially gained fame through her acting, most notably in CW’s Gossip Girl as Blair Waldorf. She proved her singing chops when she lent her vocals for Cobra Starship‘s “Good Girls Go Bad” in 2009 and in the movie Country Strong with Gwyneth Paltrow. This past summer, she made her Broadway debut as Curly’s wife in Of Mice and Men.

Her album starts with the title track “Heartstrings” which immediately shows her move to write songs that are more folk than her previous pop singles. Her upper range voice is natural and effortless. The sadness in the lyrics (“Now you’re feeling all alone/I bet you’re sorry now but that’s what you wanted/You took me for granted all the time) is reflected by the gentle reach into higher notes while she sings bitter words, and dips into the lower, fuller range for the words that give her strength. Meester also plays guitar on this album which amps up her incredible talent.

On My Side” is the opposite emotion of “Heartstrings.” Right away, the drums propel an upbeat energy as it is joined by electric guitar. Even the timbre of Meester’s voice is brighter and more vibrant. This track shows off her great soprano range that speaks strongly. This is the love song that shines and adds youth to the album. “L.A.” starts with a folky guitar flair, with a slight build-up that climaxes and adds a burst of lightness that mimics the Los Angeles sunshine. “Heartstrings” is filled with tense emotion of letting someone go, and having these songs with positive attitudes balances nicely.

Leighton Meester excels at this folk style that she has embraced. Her subtle vocal details are perfect for the acoustic sound and delicate emotions. Her attention to detail is shown in “Entitled,” which has more rhythmic interest than the other tracks. Meester’s vocal staccatos are copied by the strings for a nice accent. Her debut album is a delightful addition to the singles that she has made in the past and a big move to a more mature sound.


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