Celeste Buckingham could so easily become one of the most reliable and consistently entertaining pop singers working today. Celeste who is already a certified platinum artist, an MTV Award winner, the youngest X-Factor judge and the second youngest Cosmopolitan cover model in the magazine’s history has big expectations to fill. Luckily, her album “BARE” is an excellent record. Her voice has the power to surprise – here she sounds like the real deal in terms of range and drama, with no amount of studio slickness able to smother a singer with the bit between her teeth. It helps that more than have the songs sound like they’re from a greatest hits album. Quite honestly, there is just no excuse to not love Celeste Buckingham: the woman is exceptionally talented, gorgeous, and possesses a strong, independent spirit that sets her apart from her contemporaries.
With graceful triumph, this firecracker turns her talent into ten epic musical events on “BARE”. The collection is an amalgamation of sounds, from Pop to R&B, sultry dance numbers to piano-accompanied ballads. You cannot possibly pin a good woman down, and Celeste makes damned sure of that on this go-round.
“Paradise” kicks off the collection with a steady beat and an infectious vocal passion that is truly a radio-friendly drug. Celeste immediately turns her eyes toward “Addict”, a sassy groove that presents Rap verses against catchy choruses and a fabulously flamboyant musical arrangement.
While tracks like the easily strummed ballad “Rose” serve to highlight and reassure the world of Celeste’s vocal prowess; sure, she might be able to craft a smooth introspective Pop song, but dammit, the woman can sing it too. She continues to prove this fact on “Go Away” where a dance beat accompanies soaring, passionately emotional vocals, creating an infectious melancholia that drives, swerves and intrigues.
“Selfish” places the focus fully on Celeste Buckingham and her lyrics, a passionate freeze frame that attempts to explain the pros and cons of unconditional love. Meanwhile, a deliciously sensual beat weaves a hypnotic shake.
“Trip” is stellar, as Celeste is backed by a heavenly finger snapping beat, she absolutely shines in her stunning individuality, in an unusual track. Sounding like a cinematic dream, “Immature” is another beautiful Top40-type vocal cracker that might sound like heaven, but there’s gritty feistiness here from a woman who will never surrender.
The strange dichotomy inherent throughout this album is that most of the upbeat tracks sound like festive, dance or joyful embraces and yet Celeste sings of relationship breakdowns, yesterday’s sorrows, and searches for a more hopeful world on a global and personal level.
Celeste Buckingham is a lady who doesn’t disappoint on any track, and on the piano driven ballad “Time Is Ours” or the spunky “All This”, she is no different: amazingly infectious sounds ride the wave of her stellar, noteworthy vocals and create a sonic wonderland that is fully ear-friendly and yet amazingly intelligent and insightful.
Considering that her contemporaries are all auto-tuning the life out of themselves to attempt to hit one note, Celeste’s talent boggles the mind. How does she do it? Listen to the awe-inspiring “Intoxicated”, as she moves from rapping to singing in one fell swoop.
The album “BARE” is as evocative as it is timely. It bursts with clever Pop, R&B and Soul productions, and abounds with some of the most breathtaking lyrics. Celeste has delivered a project that will be amongst the most powerful of the year.
She proves that no matter how dark the day it is always possible to find positive beauty within, and in the process reminds listeners why pop music will need her in the future. Celeste Buckingham and her crew have crafted an album of striding anthems that are eternally relatable and effortlessly cool.