Too often, female singer/songwriters fall into the trap of having a tremendous voice and no clue how to construct an album. As a result, they’re praised for having tremendous pipes and then immediately forgotten. Newcomer Esmaye attempts to combat this common folly by constructing Elements in Me with four parts, each tailored to an element. The results are mixed.
Esmaye is blessed with a fine voice and an ability to construct a song. She exhibits a great deal of range through the album, shifting from vulnerable to sultry without missing a beat. Unfortunately, some of her shifts are not as smooth. The opening of “Open Lashes” is awkward, pushing Esmaye’s voice to its limits. The partitioning of the album into four parts is a clever idea, but is largely ignored throughout the album. A listener without a track listing will be unaware of which of the four elements a song is supposed to be influenced by.
Esmaye’s debut is adequate, marred by a few bad decisions but providing effective showcase for her vocal talents. One can only hope that she can find a better way of exhibiting range than institutionalizing it.