La’Porsha Renae Showcases Tremendous Potential on ‘Already All Ready’
American Idol runner-up La’Porsha Renae showcases tremendous Potential on her debut R&B album, ‘Already All Ready.’
Somehow, La’Porsha Renae ended up being snubbed on the final season of American Idol (no disrespect Trent Harmon). A powerful, supremely talented vocalist, Renae became the latest victim of the “should’ve won, but didn’t club” on the show. Nonetheless, producers knew they had to sign the up-and-coming R&B diva, hence, the arrival of her debut album, Already All Ready. Despite a questionable promo campaign, Already All Ready features some fantastic moments.
“What is Love” kicks off Already All Ready in spirited fashion. Driven by bright synths and led by Renea’s commanding voice, “What Is Love” makes a strong initial statement. It’s followed up with early promo single “Good Woman,” a gritty old-school, six-eight ballad encompassing empowerment, feminism, and independence for women. She delivers biting vocals, giving a vocal performance filled with conviction and the utmost passion. “Good Woman” may not being anything brand new to the table, but she nails it.
The love-oriented “Somebody Does” successfully blends adult contemporary R&B with pop sensibilities. Years ago, this was the crossover formula for numerous R&B artists. It doesn’t scream definitive crossover hit, but there is definitely potential. Lighter than the opening duo, La’Porsha pulls back more here. Arguably, highlight “Hideout” packs a mightier punch, giving Already All Ready one of its catchiest and most emotional songs.
“When in Rome”
Listeners get a heavy dose of rhythm and attitude on “When in Rome.” True to its title, Renae does just that, in the context of love.
“When in Rome you do / as the Romans do / so I’m gon’ to sleep on you / I decided to.”
Following the feisty, quick cut, things slacken on ballad “Breathe.” One of the most impressive aspects of “Breathe” is the evolution of her falsetto. She doesn’t feature it often, but when she does, it’s a nice touch. “No Problem (Self Talk)” accelerates the tempo once more, filled with hard drums and bright synths. Featuring a starkly different sound compared to “Breathe,” La’Porsha successfully conveys her point. She’s NOT going to let him hurt her and no woman should.
“It’s no problem (it’s no problem) / I’ll be fine all by myself, you’ll be fine all by myself / It’s no problem (it’s no problem) / I’ll just find somebody else, yeah I’ll find somebody else.”
“Already All Ready”
Among the crème de la crème of the album is title track, “Already All Ready.” The record successfully blends throwback soul and hip-hop. Renae is filled with attitude, easily commanding this funky joint and showing off her superb instrument. On another groovy gem, “Will You Fight,” La’Porsha asks about the ability to persevere through adversity. In this case, the adversity is love. She asks, “Will you fight when it’s easy to surrender?” In essence, are you willing to fight for love?
“Lock You Down”
“Lock You Down” reminisces back to the early 00s. Why? The record favors the Rich Harrison bangers of the time – Beyoncé (“Crazy in Love”) and Amerie (“1 Thing”). Unsurprisingly, Renae has pipes to spare on feisty record. Rather than opt for another ballad, she follows up with another hard-hitter, “Send Me Your Love” with its pronounced hip-hop cues.
Penultimate record “Stay” is soundly executed, though it doesn’t rank among the elite. “Cover Up” concludes Already All Ready with a beautiful women’s empowerment anthem. Essentially, Renae states that makeup can’t cover up the pain. Even though this is geared toward women, everyone can relate to the idea that we conceal our pain and try to put on a façade.
Overall, 23-year old La’Porsha Renae delivers an enjoyable, sound debut with Already All Ready. Vocally, she is absolutely stunning. Additionally, there are some great moments, such as the enthusiastic opener “What Is Love,” the resolute “Good Woman,” or the funky “Already All Ready.” Already All Ready may not win Renae the success she deserves, but this LP is chocked full of potential, without question.
Gems: “What Is Love,” “Good Woman,” “Hideout,” “Already All Ready” & “Lock You Down”