Singer/Songwriter, Ann Souren, has certainly had her fair share of unique musical experiences throughout her life. Born in Armenia but based in San Francisco, CA, Ann has toured several different cultures from Europe to Asia, gaining multi-cultural wisdom along the way. In the process, Ann was able to develop into this extremely versatile musician that has no problem letting her passion show through a myriad of genres such as R&B, Soul, Jazz and the Blues. With such artistry equipped in her arsenal, it is only right Ann’s debut album “The Way I Feel” garners anticipation larger than her frequent flyer mileage.
1. BEST FRIEND (NO MORE)
Ann Souren opens “The Way I Feel” with a soulful slowjam that will give you the chills.
First and foremost, The electric and bass guitar give this song such a funky twist! Aside from that, the background singers on “Best Friend” harmonize with Ann flawlessly, adding yet another dimension to the track listeners will enjoy. Halfway through, there’s a slightly prolonged and beautiful instrumental break in-between verses, which is followed by Ann welcoming us back in with her velvety voice. Near the end of the track, we are treated to a verse by Dan E., and it happens to be the perfect response to Ann’s contributions.
The chemistry is great on this song, as we are treated to a dynamic R&B track that many listeners will feel!
2. BIG MISTAKE
The jazz influence on this song is heavy, and Ann Souren’s versatility and mastering of that sound makes her shine through it.
This playful ditty is about regretting a summer fling that got a little too hot and heavy to handle. It is fun and flirty, even though the lyrics express sorrow. This track also feels a lot shorter than it actually is, which in my opinion usually means a song is great and ended too soon.
This song is upbeat and bright, just like a real sunshine! It’s sound definitely reminds people how much “The Way I Feel” has a little bit of everything, as it is disco-inspired and would be a good song to break it down to.
Ann’s voice complements the instrumental without overshadowing it (and vice versa), which is not always the case on festive carnivalesque songs like this one. As a result, you get a track that I can actually see being spun at an NYC hotspot or lounge.
Something that cannot be overlooked is the guitar-play on this song; it’s one of the main driving forces of the instrumental.
4. MORE THAN JUST FRIENDS
“More Than Just Friends” is a lovely blues ballad. It brings the pace of the album back to the slow and soulful tempo it began with. On it, Ann sings a heartfelt request to break out of the friend zone and into this lavish love zone she envisions.
The passion that Ann Souren delivers throughout this song is deeply moving, especially at about the 3:34 mark. I love the bass guitar that compliments her throughout, as it cued and accentuated Ann’s pauses and breaks masterfully.
5. THAT’S THE WAY I FEEL
The mood for this track is funky fresh! I love how lively and energetic Ann Souren, the band, and the background singers are on it.
I’m partial to any song featuring a trumpet, so I was delighted to hear one during the instrumental break. As for the vocals on the song, Ann Souren and her background singers have natural chemistry, playing off of each other effectively.
This song has a very vintage sound that works well for Ann.
6. I USED TO LOVE SOMEONE
The third time I listened to this song I couldn’t stop thinking how much the world needs an Ann Souren and Childish Gambino collaboration! Anyway, Ann has some fun on this song vocally, as her passion soars yet again.
It’s isn’t quite clear whether this is a song about triumph or heartbreak until the end, which keeps the suspense high until Ann lets the world know she’s moved on from her stormy situation. As a listener, when you hear her say this, you can’t help but cheer her on!
7. ALL ABOUT THE SWING
“All About The Swing” is hands down my favorite song on “The Way I Feel!” It definitely convinces me that Ann is more than capable of keeping up with the Ella’s and the Etta’s of the world.
This song is jazz-inspired and all about its swing and horn play. (Make sure you put on your dancing shoes and your best clothes for this one) It is fun and light, with this Jazz/Swing sound that’s very rare these days.
8. LISTEN TO THE RAIN
Accompanied by a piano-heavy backdrop, Ann Souren absolutely stuns with her unbelievable voice on “Listen to the Rain.”
Throughout this track, Ann ensures that each and every word she delivers are beautiful, meaningful, and filled with emotions that remind you of a dramatic play on Broadway.
I love when music is able to have a strangle hold on your emotions, and this is exactly what you get with ‘Listen To The Rain’. Close your eyes while you listen to this song, and let Ann take you far away in this soothing gem.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. BEST FRIEND (4.5/5)
2. BIG MISTAKE (4.6/5)
3. SUNSHINE (4.7/5)
4. MORE THAN JUST FRIENDS (4.6/5)
5. THAT’S THE WAY I FEEL (5/5)
6. I USED TO LOVE SOMEONE (4.5/5)
7. ALL ABOUT THE SWING (5/5)
8. LISTEN TO THE RAIN (5/5)
OVERALL RATING (9/10)
Ann Souren blew me away with this album! She floated from genre to genre effortlessly, and shared her experiences in various ways. Given her musical background and an extensive list of accolades, it’s no surprise that her album would contain so much exhilarating music.
Ann can bend her voice from tender and soulful to loud and in charge seamlessly, and she does not hesitate in showcasing her range at all. She brings us soul in its purest form, something music fans everywhere should appreciate. With that being said, It is really hard to pick a favorite song on this album — so I won’t; however, I will say this: unique musical artistry is alive and well thanks to Ann!
You can stream “The Way I Feel” on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music to see how this magnificent diva embodies several genres calmly and comfortably, for yourself.