Sounds like … a soulful mix of Anita Baker, Oleta Adams, Alicia Keys and Natalie Grant
At a glance … Alyce Metallo's dynamic voice, charismatic delivery, and well-chosen material make for a truly memorable debut
When an iconic artist like Stevie Wonder gives an enthusiastic stamp of approval for an up-and-coming performer, chances are the music is worth the hype. That affirmation in Alyce Metallo's press kit certainly got me intrigued, but it was ultimately her soulful voice and superb mastery of several genres that kept me engaged over all 12 tracks.
Of course, it helps that Metallo has been playing the piano since she was two. Plus, she's had formal musical training at the College of Fine Arts and as an exchange student at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Outside of the classroom, she's performed in a choir alongside legends like Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, and Kenny Rogers at Bill Clinton's inauguration, played at a private event for Jesse Jackson Jr., and was a regular at numerous Kennedy Center concerts. To hone her skills in a live setting, she also toured throughout Europe, where she won the "International Song of Peace Award" in Ireland.
More than just another pretty, soulful voice, Metallo's classic piano training adds an unexpected richness to a genre that's often more predictable than not. Clever pacing and sequencing prevents this span-the-genres album from becoming too disjointed, ably ranging from techno-laced pop anthems ("Dive In!") to jazz ("Live in the Son") to simply adorned worship ("No Song Without You").
As with the best artists, Metallo delivers her songs with confidence and a sense of conviction. On "Blessed Assurance (My Story)," she adds verve to the time-honored hymn with dynamic, scale-the-register vocals and harp arpeggios. Later on, Metallo is equally impressive when experimenting with a bossa nova groove on the Psalms-inspired "Mourning Into Dancing" or gleefully ruminating on the joys of heaven in "Paradise."
That commitment to excellence in substance and style is what ultimately makes Alyce Metallo an artist to watch. "If secular stars like Jennifer Lopez or Celine Dion have an ounce of something, they work that ounce until it's been 1000% maximized," Metallo says. "How much more should musicians in ministry be successful with what God has given us? I want to personally maximize my potential and give God all I can."
From the sounds of her self-titled debut, she's already off to an amazing start.
For more information on Alyce Metallo, check out www.alycemetallo.com.
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