Wednesday 23 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Music Made Me: Laura Leighe

Music Made Me: Laura Leighe

Local singer Laura Leighe reveals the five albums that perfected her pop music.

Rod Lott June 11th, 2013

Boyz II Men, II (1994)
I believe this was the first CD that I bought with my own allowance at Duncan’s local music store. It’s another really fun, soulful album — vocally, harmonically, musically outstanding. I remember lying on my bedroom floor and studying the lyrics, mesmerized for hours. I loved the singles, but my favorites were the opening track, “Thank You,” and the last track, their gorgeous, soul-grabbing rendition of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” I was just learning about harmony at the time, and loved listening to their rich, thick, beautiful sound.

Nichole Nordeman, Wide Eyed (1998)

This woman will forever be one of the greatest singer/songwriter/pianists on the planet. Her honest lyrics, hauntingly moving chord choices and beautifully pure voice elevate your soul to a new, better place than you were before. It was in high school that I discovered Christian music, and Nichole was a huge reason. I would
Laura Leighe
Photo: Travis Clancy
listen to every song, practically without skipping, which you cannot say about many. Nichole was one of the main artists who inspired me to play piano and write songs. I was too busy with cheerleading, show choir and dancing to sit down and practice piano — I’m better by ear — but it was over once I got one of her sheet music books.

OneRepublic, Dreaming Out Loud (2007)
Ryan Tedder is one of the most talented vocalists, songwriters, producers and musicians alive. Aside from his own tracks, he’s aided with production and background vocals on countless others’ hits. My then-boyfriend/now-husband, Trent, was interning on the final season of MTV’s TRL when he met them and gave me this record. I was absolutely blown away. The first track is my favorite, “Say (All I Need).” Its opening ethereal, chopped-up, almost chant-like vocals; Ryan’s prominent, hip-hop-influenced clap drum loops; and his amazing vocal lines convict my heart more than almost any Christian album ever did. Amazing.

Laura Leighe
Photo: Travis Clancy
Mariah Carey, Greatest Hits (2001)
These songs were definitely the soundtrack to my childhood! However, her voice, the songs and the production were so first-class that when I go back and listen now, they’re timeless. Carey’s music was so much fun, a lot of later pop doesn’t measure up. Throughout the album, Mariah’s voice soars above and below and all over the place — seamlessly, effortlessly and beautifully. In my book, she and Whitney Houston will never be beaten vocally. My favorite track, “Fantasy,” uses a sample from Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love,” and is an incredible example of an already infectiously feel-good groove made into a complete masterpiece of a pop song. In my single, “Find Me,” we sampled “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes, in hopes of doing the same.

Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012)

Bruno Mars is making some of today’s best music. I was living in L.A. when a lot of what you heard on pop radio was all the same: hip-hop, often-generic club hits — great to dance to, but not what I always want to hear in my car. When Bruno hit the airwaves, it was the perfect mix of the piano pop I had been writing, and I said, “I could make music like this!” I loved his debut album, but this new one is even better. I’m a sucker for pretty harmonies, and he’s got ’em. “Locked Out of Heaven” has such a catchy throwback beat; “When I Was Your Man” is one of the most soulful, stripped-down piano ballads to make it on the radio since Billy Joel, and “Treasure” brings back the joy of the Donna Summer disco days. He’s inspired me to not suppress great music for the sake of what sells, but instead to package great music in a way that’s appealing to the masses.

Hey! Read This:
Music Made Me: Cameron Neal     
Music Made Me: Cami Stinson     
Music Made Me: Nicholas Ley     
Laura Leighe's The Laura Leighe EP review    

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