Let’s be honest. No one likes being labelled. There is something about being labelled that feels limiting and restricting. It can also turn a good thing into something not-so-great. However, when it comes to love, sometimes a label is very necessary to understand where your relationship is going. Jazz vocalist Laurin Talese explores this concept in her reinterpretation of Bilal’s “Love Poems.” The singer, who has worked with Vivian Green and Robert Glasper, and who can sing your favorite Disney song and R&B ballad with equal aplomb, gives her own jazzy take on the original song, not just making it her own but giving us a woman’s perspective on the whole homie/lover/friend dynamic.
Talese infuses the beloved album track from Bilal's first album not only with her lush vocals, but optimism and feminine mystique. Where Bilal’s version was a somber and haunting tale of a ladies man not ready to give up his player crown, Laurin’s upbeat version is apprehensive and realistic yet hopeful in its style. Another detour from the original is that the poem at the bridge has been replaced by a musical medley that showcases the improvisational talent of her band. Finally, the song closes with angelic, soul-stirring harmonies that are as warm as your favorite blanket on a cold, rainy afternoon.
You can find Ms. Talese’s reinterpretation of “Love Poems” on her debut album, Gorgeous Chaos. It’s available on Amazon and iTunes and will be a welcome addition to your #baelist. In the meantime, we encourage you to cuddle up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, bae, boo thing, side piece or TBD, and hit play.