Louise Cappi – Hope
9 songs, 40 minutes
Great Jazz singers are timeless. The ability to control one’s voice and sing with a combination of precision and attitude is truly a unique talent that precious few people possess: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall to name a few. That’s why it’s so impressive and moving when you hear someone like Louise Cappi who brings that Jazz talent to her joyous exuberant music on Hope, an album full of empowerment and, well, hope.
Hope is an engaging record full of surprise and diverse moods swirling around Cappi’s commanding vocals at the heart. With a clear voice finely tuned and well maintained, Cappi moves effortlessly from classic songbird sweetness to tough and sassy, sometimes within the same song. Armed with a tight core 4 piece band and studded with background vocals and other occasional accompaniment, Hope is an exhibition of the breadth of Cappi’s range and juxtaposed interests.
The 70’s Disco funk of “Keep That Dream Alive” gives way to the cool beatnik Jazz swing of “The Dq Guy” resplendent with a scat vocal solo. The JB’s funk of “Talkin Talkin” blasts open into the multi tracked atmospheric vocals of the string laden “Beautiful Dreams.” The slow Blues anguish of “Matter of Time” releases it’s tension into the tongue in cheek put down “She’s Too Tall for You.”
Your slightly cynical Northeastern reviewer bristles at overtly positive songs. They often sound forced and trite. But, Louise Cappi’s Motown flavored title track melts my cold New England heart. On “Hope” Cappi describes the many virtues and remedies that hope offers. It is beautiful and affecting. Singing lines that would sound clunky from other singers, Cappi offers the listener a soaring benediction for these tough times.
Relationship songs, one’s in which the narrator exhorts the wonders of their partner, also sometimes fall flat. Again Cappi braves the waters and triumphs. On “Only You” Cappi sings of mature love and commitment over a smooth airy 70’s mellow Yacht Rock vibe. A singer of Cappi’s talent can sing “I want to spend my life with you” and make it come across as meaningful. This kind of mature reflection on love and comfort in a life filled with commitment is unique.
Louise Cappi has created a triumphant display of talent and emotional connection in her album Hope. By not focusing on hardship and being able to effectively and convincingly sing about positivity, Cappi has developed an authentic and believable case for joy right now. A meditation on self care, life lived and a bright future, Cappi fully employs her beautiful instrument to offer the listener a prayer for love, happiness and hope.