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article by: Michael Canter

16 May 2012

CD Review - Lovestruck EP by Alisa Boniello

New York Native Alisa Boniello ignites passion, a strong singing ability and the inspiration of following your dreams. While discovering her path as a singer/songwriter, she is generating an expanding fan base through her upbeat, pop songs. It’s only a matter of time before the whole world is “lovestruck” with the artist as well.
~Danielle Crowe, Bella Online



Release Date: 15-May-2012
Genre: Pop / Dance / Top Forty
Publisher: [c] 2012 Alisa Boniello
Label: Alisa Bee Productions
Time: 15m 37s
Review Date: 16-May-2012
Format: CD
Jivewired Digital Press Kit:  http://jivewired.com/alisaboniello



Get it at:

CD Baby | iTunes | Amazon (Single Only)

Track Listing:
01. Lovestruck 3:51
02. That Kind Of Girl 3:43
03. (When Will) Love Feel Real 3:56
04. Why 4:07

Review:

The musical resume on this EP is impeccable.  For a debut, there is a pretty strong team here.  Alisa Boniello collaborated with Grammy Award winning songwriter/producer Barry Eastmond, (Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Anita Baker) on the Lovestruck EP, and the collaboration produced four radio-friendly pop dynamos: Lovestruck, a retro-soul/pop ditty, (When Will) Love Feel Real, an upbeat love saga, the whimsical ballad, Why, and the pulsating and edgy That Kind Of Girl, co-written and co-produced by Wendell Hanes, (Mya, Cheri Dennis) and Dan Kramer.  Hanes also played keyboards and synth programming on the track.  Eastmond produced the remaining songs exclusively, and also played keyboards and provided programming on the same tracks he produced.

The lead single is Lovestruck, a song that is very reminiscent of the classic Christina Aguilera sound, pop heavy hooks and drops with a nod to the glimmer-soul and R&B divas of the mid 60s.   Alisa belts out very nicely on this one while staying within a comfortable zone as far as her register is concerned.  Being so very pop-friendly, that's okay.  Lovestruck is a dance/pop number that relies more on its beats and drops anyway.  It's certainly radio and club ready and should be a huge boost to her career.  A great lead single for an emerging pop artist. 

That's not to say that Alisa is pre-packaged pomp and nothing more.  She has a wonderful voice and she showcases that on the song Why.  The only ballad on the four-song EP,  Alisa Boniello really proves her mettle here as a talented voice.  She hits her upper register flawlessly while remaining both sexy and pouty at the same time.  At times this song reminds me of some of the softer George Michael outputs from Faith and that's a tremendous complement, at least as far as I am concerned, because those were his best songs.  Why is almost inescapable, because it can simultaneously cross eras, genres and genders, a mark of a truly classic song.  Lyrically, it's tortured yet emphatically resilient and that sonic imagery is ever present from start to finish.

That Kind Of Girl is a decent bass-heavy pop/club and reverberant dubstep number while (When Will) Love Feel Real is an upbeat made-for-top-forty excursion that actually combines some pretty cool doo-wop drops with a tremendously groovy hook and exceptional backing vocals.  Both songs are not as strong as the other two but are by no means filler or burner material.  Certainly any number of up and coming pop divas best efforts aren't as good as either song, but in comparison to the two stronger efforts they're ever-so-slightly lacking. On That Kind Of Girl I'd like to see a stronger emphasis on the vocals, which kind of get lost in the heavy bass lines except during the chorus.  It gets somewhat repetitive in it's arrangement.  (When Will) Love Feel Real, however, has that tug-on-your-heart strings aura, and after a few listens you will find yourself captively hooked.  It's a very sexy-girl-next-door number that will quickly imprison you.

My guess is that the initial direction in which Alisa Boniello is headed is steeped strongly in the song Lovestruck.  Producing radio-friendly music is the quickest way to success in this business and a song like Lovestruck will almost certainly put this artist on the fast track to mainstream acceptance and pop accolade.  In the course of her promising career, I hope she will use that success as a means to expose her wonderful voice with songs like Why as well.  I am of the opinion that the combination of the two styles portends to an unstoppable career path for Alisa Boniello.

About Alisa Boniello:



When you mix inspired passion, innate chops, and a childhood dream all together, it can make for one very powerful potion, and fledgling upstart and singer/songwriter Alisa Boniello poured it all into her debut four-song EP entitled, LOVESTRUCK.

Within weeks after graduating with a BA degree from Hunter College (May 2011), the native New Yorker teamed up with Grammy Award winning songwriter/producer Barry Eastmond (Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Anita Baker, to name a few) and collaborated on co-writing four songs, “Lovestruck,” a haunting, retro-soul/pop ditty, “(When Will) Love Feel Real,” an upbeat saga about wanting to feel real love, and the whimsical and stirring ballad, “Why,” that reveals the pain of a broken-heart. Eastmond produced all three songs.

Tackling the various phases of love and relationships, Boniello and Eastmond also enlisted songwriter/producer Wendell Hanes, ( Mya, Brand Nubian, Cheri Dennis) on the pulsating and edgy, “That Kind Of Girl,” which drips with the bite of a woman who has reached her breaking point. Eastmond shares co-producing credits with Hanes and Dan Kramer on the track.

Boniello, who was raised in the town of Somers in Westchester County, NY, started taking classical piano lessons at age 5, and was singing in locally produced musicals by 12. In college she fused her years of training as a classical pianist with singing, and graduated with a BA degree in Classical Voice.

Over the past two years, she began exploring her love for contemporary pop/soul music writing original songs, fusing her high soprano vocal prowess with her skills as a pianist. She also started cutting her teeth as a live performer, appearing at open mic club nights around the city, such as the Waltz Astoria in Queens, as well as the Sidewalk Cafe, Desmond's Tavern, and 169 Bar in Manhattan.

“I’m just discovering and finding out who I am as an artist,” admitted Boniello, “but I’m hoping these songs will resonate and give people a chance to feel some of the joy that I’ve felt in writing and recording them.”




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