Mystery Prize – Rebecca Loebe
I discovered this wonderful singer/songwriter on NBC’s The Voice about a month ago. In her audition, she sang a haunting cover of Come As You Are by Nirvana. It instantly caught my attention, and Rebecca quickly became my favorite contestant on the show. Both Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera chose her to work with them, and she decided to go with Adam Levine. She was sadly eliminated in the battle rounds when she sang Creep by Radiohead alongside contestant Devon Barley. Rebecca was likely the strongest singer in the competition, so many viewers were sad to see her go.
The Voice is just part of what Rebecca has done in her musical career. She has also released two EPs and two full-length albums. Her album Mystery Prize released last year, and that’s what I’m here to talk about. It seems that anyone who hears Rebecca’s music just can’t stop listening to it. I heard her on The Voice, then looked up her music and listened to some of her songs repeatedly. Then I got Mystery Prize and I’ve had it on repeat in my car or on my phone ever since. And just today, I ordered Hey, It’s A Lonely World and Bees & Zombies. I’ve heard similar things from others who have bought her music.
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, Rebecca’s voice is beautiful, recorded or live. Most artists sound good recorded but have some problems live. She is absolutely not one of them. Also, her music is fun to listen to and sing along with. I was singing The Bees for a week after I heard it the first time. Finally, Rebecca herself is fun and respectable. For instance, she labels herself as a “Post-Brontosaurus Indie Folk/Crunk Singer/Songwriter.” And she is one of very few musicians out there who are willing to give up everything they have to tour the country in a Ford Taurus, literally performing for a living.
So what about the music itself? Well, many of Rebecca’s songs use the same formula. Acoustic guitar, basic drums, maybe some piano, and some other miscellaneous instruments ranging from the mandolin to flugelhorn to cello. If you came off of her Nirvana cover expecting more music like that, you’re sadly mistaken. I too would love to see more of that side of Rebecca, but for now we get more of the country/folk feel, which is just as good. Usually, I do not like country music very much, but she crafts her music in a way that I really enjoy.
Some of the slower songs on the album have a nice light rock feel, and they show off Rebecca’s vocal strength and maturity. Siren and Avalanche are both good examples of this maturity. The emotion she puts into her music really shines through in these slower songs.
When I saw the song California on the album, I was a little worried about it. Sometimes, songs with locations for titles can get a bit too specific and the song distances itself from the listener. Rebecca did very well with the song though. She sang about how she likes California, but she doesn’t get so specific that we cannot relate.
I think Mystery Prize is a wonderful album from an amazing musician. It was a style that I don’t usually listen to, which was a little different for me, but I enjoyed it all. I do hope that Rebecca’s next album has a little more from her rock side, because I think she would do very well there too. But if you enjoy good music, especially folk music, then you need to head over to her site right now and order Mystery Prize. It will get inside your head and never leave, a welcome feeling. Support Rebecca Loebe so we can have more of her music.