I've sure been in a Haley state of mind, lately. Probably because she's had some damn strong vocal styling performances as of late that have really gotten my juices flowing (pardon the double entendre). One such performance that especially got my attention was the Oh Darlin' she sang this past Friday night at Room 5 in LA.
Now, I've heard Haley sing Oh Darlin' many, many times. It's a classic Beatles song that, in original form, follows a pattern of soft melody building to rocking crescendo, and back, and forward, until finishing with a powerful, belting jam. No doubt, Haley has shown can do a great job of stepping on the gas and powering through the song in its straight forward format.
However, this time Haley did what Haley does better than anyone else. She brilliantly styled and interpreted the vocal, seamlessly adding tugs of playful, sexy, buttery, sultry, raspy, tender tones with some good rocking and fun bantering. Best of all, she did this without ever losing the original melody or chorus in the process. It's brilliant, it's organic, it's artistic, it's instinctual, it's innate, it's mad talent, it's Haley Fucking Reinhart at her highest level, and it's why I can't bear the thought of her getting wasted in the confines of contemporary pop music.
Watch the video, and you'll find yourself alternately smiling, jamming, getting turned on, laughing, singing and, finally, just admiring this playful vixen's God-given gifts on display. The awkwardness that sometimes accompanies her when forced to follow formula is gone, as it always is when she's able to color outside the lines and FEEL the music in her. This is why she's a born jazz singer; the open format allows her instincts and talent to flow rather than be confined by pop formulas and patterns.
Also, take a moment to appreciate her guitarist, John Notto. He beautifully finessed his playing to follow and guide Haley's musical interpretation.
Alright, alright...enough blather from me. Just check it out, people. It's great shit!