Whitney McClain – Letters from a Broken Heart (EP)
Blending a modern-day lyrical sensibility with classic pop elements of rhythm and musical arrangement, Whitney McClain’s latest EP, Letters from a Broken Heart, is a solid serving of R&B built to appeal to older and younger listeners alike. With an accessible vocal style conveying words of romantic uncertainty and self-exploration in relationships, she provides a consistent and distinguished treatment which separates her material from many competitors.
McClain and producers Da Beatfreakz visit an atmosphere of sophisticated ‘70s soul embellished with a hip-hop-savvy drum beat on “Fireplace.” Infused with sweet vocal harmonies and nostalgic piano fills, the midtempo tune draws its strength from McClain’s unaffected, eager tones bringing the story line of blissful new love across strikingly. Contrastingly, on the slowly simmering “Good with Pain,” she confronts the realistic limitations of an eminent relationship: “I know this poison, it is bad for me/But bad habits comfort my agony…So come shoot me down, all of your bullets ricochet all for me/But I’ll be okay, ‘cause I’m good with pain.”
Examining that love from the other side of the pain, McClain emotes her frustration with compromise and sacrifice on the straightforward “Don’t Believe Ya.” The memorable melody is impactful with the underlying strumming of guitarists Joe Chari and Mackenzie. McClain expands upon that premise with the funky, horn-fueled “Fall So Far,” exhibiting her knack for strong hooks and reflective songwriting. Recommended.