Adrien Reju Takes Our Breath Away on ‘Strange Love and The Secret Language’

Featured Image, Album Art courtesy of the Artist

What do you think of when it comes to love songs? Does “It’s Gonna Be Me” by N*SYNC pop into your head? Or does something like Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” or Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” seem more fitting? Well, singer/songwriter and Philly-affiliate Adrien Reju has compiled an album of tracks and covers that aren’t your ordinary love songs.

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Strange Love and The Secret Language, released today through Zip Records, is a calm, folky compilation of original songs and covers of unconventional love songs by artists, including David Bowie, Prince, Elliott Smith, John Cale (The Velvet Underground), and Dogbowl (a.k.a. Stephen Tunney). This makes the album unique in that it not only includes and appreciates five songs that don’t necessarily fit the traditional mold of a love song, but also includes original songs written by Reju that blend very well with the overall theme of the record.

“If I Was Your Girlfriend (featuring Zach Djanikian)” took a coveted song by the legendary Prince and kept the funk, while also adding that hint of indie folk and minimal instrumentals to create a magical cover. “Moonlight,” one of the five original songs on the album, is soft and serene, with light piano playing throughout the song and drums that are reminiscent of those on Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac in their down-tempo songs. The lyrics describe a relaxing moment after troubled days where everything ends up being alright and “feeling alright/under the moonlight.”

“Still Not Over You” is another original song that really pulled at my heartstrings, as cliched as that is. It’s the epitome of a heartache song in that Reju deeply expresses in a down-tempo, 50’s-style love song, that even though the option to be with someone is there, one can still be missing someone else.

Strange Love and The Secret Language truly displays not only Adrien Reju’s fantastic vocals, but also shows how much she’s musically evolved from her previous EP Lucky OnesReju states in an article with Glide Magazine that when she lived in Philly from 2004 to 2009, she stated that “there was something very special happening in the music scene around that time.”

She continues: “I remember going out almost every night to an open mic or a bar to meet up with my friends, many of them songwriters, and we would share songs with each other. It was a very safe and nurturing group of people that I befriended there and many of us are still playing music and we keep an eye on each other.” Knowing Philly and its awesome and diverse music scene, one can say that it was a heavy influence on what this album has become, and there’s definitely only admiration and love here!

Pick up a copy of Adrien Reju’s Strange Love and the Secret Language here. Jam away to a few tracks on SoundCloud here!

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