BWW CD REVIEW: Levi Kreis' IMAGINE PARADISE Will Make You Want to Have a Solo Dance Party
Levi Kreis is a rock star with an electric sound and vibe. With his most recent studio album IMAGINE PARADISE, he channels a pop/techno/soul sound that resembles that of Robin Thicke, George Michael, and Jamiroquai. IMAGINE PARADISE is Kreis' fourth album, but his first in four years. After a brief hiatus, Kreis has made it clear with this Kickstarter founded record that he is back and stronger than ever.
As the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor In A Musical for his role of Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway's hit musical MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, Kreis is not only a singer or actor. He is a performer, and this album is representative of that. The amount of personality and energy in IMAGINE PARADISE is thrilling, the larger-than-life dance tracks will have you up on your feet in no time. As suggested on the Kickstarter (which earned far beyond it's initial goal), IMAGINE PARADISE is truly a "celebration of love and life."
From start to finish, the record will have you moving and wanting to throw a dance party in your bedroom, your kitchen, or wherever you happen to be when jamming out to this infectious album. The album also features more stripped down tracks that slow down a bit so you can catch your breath and get lost in Kreis' voice in these tunes. With various music styles featured on the album, IMAGINE PARADISE manages to find a good balance of genres.
The first single off of the album, "So Much Better," is representative of the record's unbelievable liveliness. The tune is the first on the album, and once it plays, you will know you are in for a treat. The abum starts with an epic club vibe, and continues to satisfy.
The track "Anyway You Want It" is a sensual track that has Kreis displaying a resemblance to the Scissor Sister's Jake Shears. The amrorous lyrics, idelible rhythm and fast tempo make this track another winner.
"Taking Back My Boogie" is the other energy charged track sure to blow your mind. It is overwhelmingly fun, but beware listening to this on public transportation because your head will be bobbing, your feet will be tapping, and your arms will be fighting the urge to start flailing. The energy of this song is that contagious.
The word electric might be the best way to describe many of the tracks on this album and the record in general. With IMAGINE PARADISE, Kreis channels sex appeal and displays vocal abilities that just astonish.
Conversely, the tracks "What Love Is"and "Will I" bring the energy of the record down a notch, allowing Kreis to serenade you his smooth vocals. The latter also sounds like Backstreet Boys meets Gavin Degraw in the best possible way, and it also features some scatting.
"Timeless" is one of the more intense and emotional songs on the album, and it gives us some insight on the reasons behind his Tony win. Kreis sings with an emotional intensity that will draw you in and keep you for a while.
It is refreshing when Broadway alumni produce solo albums that feature a sound different from the one they project on stage. Kreis has definitely channeled his own sound, as the tracks off his record definitely seem like songs that should be on the radio and in the club.
This album is for anyone who loves evocative music full of energy, soul, empowerment and a strong dance vibe.
Watch the music video for Levi Kreis' "So Much Better" here