CD Review: Reina Mora “Bird’s Eye View”

Puerto Rico native Leeane Melendez (from this point on to be referred to by her stage name of Reina Mora) has spent time in the music industry as part of many bands. But after spending time in other people’s groups, the L.A.-based singer-songwriter has taken on a new role as a solo artist. Having written her own songs, Reina Mora is about to release her first solo album. While Mora is an artist that is proud of her Latin background, the singer-songwriter has just created a release that is largely influenced by the same type of music that she has been singing as part of other bands. That pop/rock-based album is entitled Bird’s Eye View, a title that plays on the singer’s stage name of Reina Mora since “Reina Mora” is actually the name of a bird in Puerto Rico.   

The new album from Reina Mora begins with the track “Up In Arms”. The first track of the album finds Reina Mora creating a track that contains a large amount of pop-rock that features a very strong eighties vibe to it. The main reason for that vibe comes from the keyboards that are rather prominent on the track. To go along with the retro feel of the keys, Mora’s vocal approach brings to mind singers from the eighties such as Tiffany (of “I Think We’re Alone Now” fame) who were rather big on commercial radio back then. While rather retro in its sound, “Up In Arms” is a very strong track. 

Bird’s Eye View continues with the track “Trouble,” the first single off of the album. The music of “Trouble” focuses on the electric guitar that help to create a very strong Rock and Roll feel to the track. The electric guitar provides a moderate pace to the music. Reina Mora’s vocals are strong and focused as she plays out the character she created for the song. To go along with the Rock and Roll music, the lyrics of the song find Reina Mora creating a scene based around an Adam and Eve-type setting where Mora is portraying an Eve-like character who knows the power she possesses over “Adam” and is taking advantage of him as she plays out the forbidden apple scene from the Bible. As the title of the track suggests, Reina Mora declares that she is nothing but bad news. But as it turns out, Adam is no fool and he has a few tricks of his own. The writing style contained within the track comes across as a vignette set to music.

Reina Mora’s new album continues with the track “Passenger”. Having already released the song a few years ago, the singer-songwriter ended up revisiting the track for this new album. The original version of the song came complete with a guitar-driven feel that would have been right at home on radio back in the nineties alongside artists like Alannis Morrisette. For this version of the song, Mora completely rewrote the track to give the song a much different feel.  Much like track “Up In Arms” before it, the pop-rock music of this newer version of the track brings to mind music from the era of the eighties. The track begins with a strong heartbeat-like drumbeat that continues throughout the track. That drumbeat is matched up early with an acoustic guitar and the two instruments combine to create a rather infectious feel to the music. Adding the lyrics and the result is a song with a pop-rock ballad that is ultimately a song about regret as Mora sings about the one who got away. Much like the earlier version of the track, the commercial feel of this newer version of “Passenger” from Reina Mora means that the track could easily find its way onto today’s Top 40 radio formats.

The feel of Reina Mora’s new album changes directions with the next track of “If I Am A Stranger”. The track takes on a folk-like quality as the music is created by a mandolin, a bowed double bass and some light percussion. The simple and light music of the track comes complete with a slower pace than the previous tracks on the release. The lighter approach on the music allows Mora’s vocals to come through a lot more than on the tracks that came before.  While a lot lighter than the earlier tracks, “If I Am a Stranger” still contains a sound that is rather infectious.

Bird’s Eye View from Reina Mora continues with the song “Brighter Sky”. The Latin flavor of the percussion at the beginning of the track and the rest of the instrumentation throughout the track help to create a track that brings to mind the music of Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine. Part of the reason why the track brings to mind Estefan and her band is the eighties influence that once again gives the song a little bit of a throwback feel. The difference between Estefan and Mora’s song of “Brighter Sky” is that “Brighter Sky” has more of a Latin feel to it.

Throughout much of the Bird’s Eye View album from Reina Mora, the listener will find several tracks that feel readymade for radio airplay. No place is that more evident than with the track “Behind the Moon”. The commercial quality of the pop-rock music mixed with the strings that add an orchestral feel to the music combine to create a track that would feel right at home on Top 40 radio formats as well as Adult Contemporary formats and/or Hot A/C stations.

With the fact that Leeane Melendez (Reina Mora’s real name) is a native of Puerto Rico, it should come as no surprise that she would include some of her Hispanic background on the music of her album. With the track of “Cielo Azul,” she creates a track that fully allows her Hispanic side to come through. Of course, the listener will automatically recognize “Cielo Azul” as the track is the same song as the earlier track “Brighter Sky” except with lyrics in Spanish.

Bird’s Eye View, the new album from Reina Mora, finds the former frontwoman stepping out on her own to create a release that is solid from the very first track. Taking many of her musical influences that she picked up as a result of performing with the various musical acts she has been a part of, Mora has created an album that is very commercial and contains songs that would fit in on several different radio formats. If you are a fan of Adult Contemporary or Hot A/C radio, Bird’s Eye View from Reina Mora is an album that you need to check out.

 

I happened to get a copy of the Bird’s Eye View album from Reina Mora before it has been released. Because of that, I have no album cover to share for the release. Heck, as of this writing, the cover hasn’t even been shot yet! The Bird’s Eye View album is still in the process of being put together. Stay tuned to Reina’s website for complete release date details.   

However, there is a single available from the upcoming Bird’s Eye View album from Reina Mora. Click HERE to check out the track “Trouble”. 

For more information, check out Reina Mora’s PR firm, WHIPLASH PR

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