Artist: Lael Summer
Album: Burdent to Bear
Producers: Tomás Doncker and James Dellatacoma for True Groove
There’s nothing quite like feeling lost and alone in an ever-moving and evolving world that quickly forces you to mature, especially if you don’t feel ready to embrace the connections you unexpectedly begin to form along the way. Soul-funk-pop singer-songwriter Lael Summer passionately and authentically encompassed that at-times harrowing process of personally maturing in such a bustling, intimidating city as New York with her debut album, ‘Burden to Bear.’ Mixing vulnerable lyrics with enthralling instrumentals, the multi-faceted musician creatively and instinctively fused her identity with her experiences, dreams and desires to create a powerful, soulful record.
Summer instantly draws listeners into her experiences with the versatile first song ‘I Need a Man,’ in which she sophisticatingly reveals how she’s looking for someone who understands and appreciates her. The singer draws on her own experiences of maturing as she searches for someone who truly respects her for who she is.
The inspired musician also powerfully reveals her vulnerabilities about living up to expectations, and questioning whether she’s deserving of love, in such songs as ‘Too Much’ and ‘We’re so Small.’ The compositions are emotional, sensitive explorations of whether she’s able to relinquish her dependence on the other person in order to learn, and grow, from the pain of ending the romance. Summer also drawns from her disapointment of not being able to maintain a successful romance.
While she also captured honest, reflective pain with the intriguing horns, guitars and other soulful instrumentals throughout ‘Burden to Bear,’ the musician included several highly gripping and powerful songs. The singer-songwriter offered an emotional depth in ‘Make You Whole,’ a powerful ballad that reflects on her secrets and regrets in love. But she came to embrace when you know it’s time to move on from a failed relationship with ‘In Time.’ While she admits that it’s painful to be on her own, and how she needs time to truly heal and move on, with the help of graceful guitars and inner strength, Summer is able to overlook her nostalgia to move on.
‘The Good Fight’ is an elegant, commanding song to end ‘Burden to Bear,’ as the singer acknowledges that she has to keep trying to live her life the way she truly wants, no matter what difficult obstacles she’s forced to overcome. Summer offers a gritty, courageous admission that she doesn’t want to lose control over her life and emotions. The powerful message that she does want to find love, but isn’t willing to sacrifice her independence and identity to do so, is a powerful, influential message her listeners are sure to take away from the album.
‘Burden to Bear’ is an epic, soulful debut from the relatable, passionate Summer, who uninhibitedly expressed her vulnerabilities about her desires to be loved for who she truly is. She understandably searches for someone who can appreciate and love her for the way she is, and mourns the end of relationships she believes could have embraced her identity. When she finally experiences true love, Summer optimistically sings about her heartfelt embrace, and proves that it can help resolve all vulnerabilities.
Written by: Karen Benardello