Andrea has studied film, writing, and music for her career. She loves to find and work with talented artists to give them some spotlight.
A Review Of Jacqueline Loor's First Album
I recently interviewed Jacqueline Loor to talk about her music, creative process, and plans for the future. I was honored to meet her, even if just through a Zoom call. Her perspectives on life, art, and family were enlightening to me.
I've been listening to her album off and on for the past few weeks. I think she put together a solid album that her fans and newcomers will enjoy.
Who Is Jacqueline Loor?
Jacqueline is a rising star in the indie music community. Her music is in both English and Spanish. She reminds me a lot of Shakira. The first song that came to mind while listening to her was "Empire", a downtempo rock ballad that's not as well known as "Hips Don't Lie" or "Waka Waka". Jacqueline pours herself into her work; she crafts deeply emotional songs. She also has a natural ability when it comes to Latin pop. "No Me Digas" is a sexy salsa number that'll get your feet moving.
People from all walks of life gravitate toward Jacqueline. She has a certain spark that others want to see grow. Her charisma brings producers, vocalists, instrumentalists, and writers, like me, to her. Her goal is to empower people and give them healing messages.
Her voice sounds like a mix of Shakira and Tori Amos. She has been compared to Kate Bush. Her songwriting reminds me of Stevie Nicks and a melancholy Taylor Swift.
Show Them was inspired by real events. A couple of years ago, Jacqueline's twin sister, Caroline, was going through a rough patch. She was essentially in a relationship with an energy vampire.
The album doesn't go into all the details of that relationship. The album is more or less about toxic situations and recovering from them.
The Move To Tenerife
Show Them was in part inspired by a big geographical move for Jacqueline and her family. She moved from Miami to Tenerife, Spain after her mother visited the city—it's located on one of the Canary Islands. Her mother fell in love with the place and felt it was where she belonged; it's where her ancestors lived.
Jacqueline later went to Tenerife on vacation and fell in love with the place. She told her husband she could see them living there, and eventually, the stars aligned and they moved. Later Caroline followed suit. They've all been slowly but surely making a pilgrimage to Tenerife. (Maybe somehow our ancestors can call us back to important places.)
This overseas journey has been a source of Jacqueline's creativity over the past couple of years. She has a home studio in Tenerife. She enjoys connecting with the beautiful scenery and meeting people there. (Plus, Tenerife locations make for gorgeous music videos.)
#1 Coming Undone
The first track of the album, "Coming Undone" was released as a single years ago. A music video was released for it in 2018. It was filmed in Tenerife, Spain.
"Coming Undone" is one of my favorite songs on the album. It's an excellent choice for an opening track. It does have a similar style to Tori Amos and Kate Bush. There is tight interplay with Jacqueline's voice and the piano, like in many of Amos' and Bush's songs. Her first few words are visceral. They're packed with images, helping to build the themes of heartbreak, loss, and confusion.
The song starts with the following chilling lyrics:
"Shut windows. Low Ceilings. It's all closing in. No lightness. Not a whisper. You're all in your head. Everybody's shouting, trying to pull you out of your own mess. But all you keep thinking, all you keep saying, 'It's too little, it's too late.'"
The song lets the listener know they're not alone in feeling deep and low emotions. The song suggests it's better to turn to difficult emotions and listen to them rather than run from them.
The song was inspired by Jacqueline's concern for her twin sister and her sour relationship. Her twin, Caroline, was walled into her circumstances and didn't fully know she was trapped. According to Jacqueline, her twin's realization that things weren't working helped her to see the trap she was in—once she could recognize it, she could untangle herself from it.
This song builds and builds. It starts off in a simplistic way with the piano. It invites you to listen, and it gradually swells and increases in complexity. There is a quietness in the beginning, but it builds into confidence, strength, and hope.
I love the story Jacqueline's writing tells. Who hasn't been in a bad romance or a bad friendship? It can be gut-wrenching, confusing, and emotionally charged. I think some of the biggest epiphanies I've had were when I experienced the death of a relationship, whether a platonic or romantic one.
I would describe the song as meditative. It reminds me of quiet places with quaint, cozy furniture. It reminds me of long showers, long mornings in bed, and hot cups of tea. Quiet and distilled moments like these invite deeper thinking. When you're alone and all the external distractions are muted—that's when things untangle.
This song acts as a letter to Jacqueline's sister to help her wake from her nightmare:
"You've been sleeping for too long. You've been dreaming all wrong. Why don't you let me, why don't you let me wake you?"
#2 Just a Memory
"Just a Memory" is in the vein of "Somebody I Used to Know" by Goyte and "We Don't Talk Anymore" by Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez. Jacqueline's song is about what's leftover when a relationship ends.
The song is poetic and plays in a similar piano pattern to two of my favorite songs, Radiohead's "Videotape" and Lykke Li's "Possibility". The song continues to grow and swell, and Jacqueline's vocals have the right amount of angst to build to the dramatic end.
Some of the best lines come from the beginning of the song:
"We were telling secrets no one was keeping. Playing make believe in a world only we, only we were seeing. What were we doing; who were we fooling? Behind closed doors in a world only we, only we would know. You and me and what we used to be."
These kinds of songs often become fan favorites because they're so relatable. It's a rare and beautiful thing to share one's interpersonal world with someone else. Often that shared space can't last. People grow, they change, or things get so passionate that they boil over and explode.
It's hard to maintain a space meant for safeguarding secrets. The rawest part of ourselves craves for an interpersonal sanctuary.
I think Jacqueline wants her listeners to know that they can hold that space on their own and be fulfilled. You need self-love and self-care. Your relationship with yourself is your first relationship. If you're wanting to share that space long-term with someone, you'll have to be patient with the universe.
We all have people who become "just a memory" either through a breakup, fading out from time, or even death. In many ways, a breakup is a metaphor for death.
My Two Cents
The song relies heavily on piano and repetition. There are some long sustaining notes that add to the contemplative nature. This is one of Jacqueline's best songs lyrics-wise—it hits that same turbulent spot as "Someone I Used to Know".
#3 Don't You Pretend
One terrible ex vividly came to mind the first time I listened to "Don't You Pretend". Fair warning: this song has a knack for taking you down some of the worst parts of memory lane.
The ex of mine was from more than five years ago. He didn't care about me one iota. He just wanted to win me, like a prize. I was just a game to him. Fortunately, I got out before the hot glue and glitter rolled altogether.
"Don't You Pretend" grabs you because it's relatable. It's also catchy, vulnerable, and easy on the ears. The song has several raw moments in the interplay between Jacqueline and the piano (several of the album's first songs are this way). There are a couple of sections where the music swells, and we hear guitar strums and percussion.
I feel the piano parts are deeply personal. I see these sections as letters to the person who broke the song's heroine's heart. The swelling and dramatic parts touch on themes of empowerment and liberation.
Jacqueline's voice shines on this track. The background instruments are more subtle, which helps to support the singer and her complex vocal arrangement. She allows herself to be vulnerable on this one.
Grabbing Listeners From the Start
A great song has memorable opening lyrics. It's those earworms that you find yourself repeating throughout your day. "Don't You Pretend" gets straight to the point in seven words: "Don't you pretend that you love me."
False promises, wasted years, and the make believe. The song is packed with feelings, confusion, and anxiety. (Not going to lie, a heavy metal cover of this song would be amazing.)
#4 I'm Done With You
Have patience with me for a moment. I'm going to take you down a little bit of a detour. Why? Because this song reminds me of Cowboy Bebop and in all the right ways.
One of the most integral episodes of the popular anime series is "Ballad of Fallen Angels". The episode acts as the real turning point for the series, and it seemingly makes people want to watch all 26 episodes. "Ballad of Fallen Angels" is the first session where the audience realizes the overall plot is way deeper than just a motley crew of bounty hunters trying to make a buck in space.
The episode features one of the most recognizable songs from the whole series: "Rain". (And this is saying something because Cowboy Bebop is known for its music.) "Rain" is played when Spike confronts Vicious at the Cathedral and Faye is captured.
The scene is vivid. Ravens flying in a purple sky. Spike, the protagonist, creeping up a hill. He wears all black. He arrives at the cathedral, and there is a slew of religious images. The song is heavy with a resonating organ. A shootout takes place. It's like a fever dream from a Martin Scorsese film that was never created.
So why would this famous anime scene come to mind while listening to Jacqueline Loor? I can hear a similar pulse to the piano in Jacqueline's song as in "Rain", which was composed by Yoko Kanno and her band the Seatbelts. (Yoko Kanno was the composer for Cowboy Bebop.)
I found the cathedral shootout scene on YouTube, turned off the music, and played "I'm Done With You". It definitely hits a similar vibe. It has '80s synth and gothic-sounding chord progressions. This is one of the darkest songs on the album. The song acts as a turning point: Jacqueline moves out of piano chords and meditative melancholy to dive into gritty alternative rock.
The song is just a few shades off from turning into an Evanescence power ballad. And that excites me. I think Jacqueline thrives off this style, and I want more of it. You can tell she really feels and sees this song.
#5 Burn It Down
The gothic alternative rock style and fierceness continues with this song. It is clear Jacqueline has a real instinct when it comes to picking the perfect haunting piano notes. And it's the repetition of the same piano and vocal notes that gets your attention.
"Burn It Down" appeared on the show Batwoman. The song starts with chilling lyrics:
"I can tell you when it all began. Child holding someone's hand. But this world they break you down and tear you apart. And that's when the fire, the fire starts."
The song builds slowly for the first 35 seconds. Once we get to the chorus, the song switches gears. The music swells: it becomes orchestral. "Burn It Down" holds no punches: it is decisively epic.
The song gives no hope for the past. Whatever relationship was there is permanently gone. All the gifts from your past lover—destroyed. Phone numbers are blocked. Locks are changed. It's time to move on, and the best way to do it is to cut off all ties.
Say goodbye to the ghosts of yesterday, burn it all down. . . so to speak.
#6 Just Let Me Breathe
This song is a departure from the others. It still fits with the dark tone of "I'm Done With You" and "Burn It Down", but it adds a cup of spooky and sexy.
Will Evans joins Jacqueline on the song. The duet helps create a dialogue about fallen, toxic relationships and recovering from them. Will Evans verse is one of my favorite parts of the song:
"Another day. I know it's never ever gonna be the same. I'm gonna make them see. Too much pressure. Can't get better. It's making me numb. They want me that way."
Where do the spooky and sexy vibes come into play? The instrumentation makes it sound spooky, it sounds appropriate for Halloween or a horror movie. Jacqueline and Will's voices drive the sexiness. Their notes are not too complicated. There isn't a lot of fluctuation in pitch, and it sounds lower than the other songs (at least overall).
For me, a song sounds sexier when there isn't a lot of complicated trills, and when it's sung in a lower register. Alto lines tend to be sexier than soprano lines whereas soprano lines tend to be more dynamic and dramatic.
The lyrics do play to some of the spookiness. Here is the first line of the song:
"Twisted games. No matter what they say. I don't wanna play. They haunt me in my sleep."
Admittedly, I wish I could produce the music video for this one. It inspires eerie images of castles, people in costumes, and oversized bats. It's got a penny dreadful feel to it. There is a certain slowness to it that makes it mysterious. I think turning this song into a duet gave it maturity. The song is both about independence and desire.
What Is This Song?
From what I can tell, the song is about invasive thoughts and memories. It's as if the song is about a demonic attack. When you break up with someone, all kinds of thoughts form, and they can be invasive, wild, frustrating, and even lustful.
As much as this song is about the frustrations, the spookiness, and the sexiness, it's also about recovery. There is a heavy request in the words: "just let me breathe". And one question says it all: "don't they know I just wanna be me?"
#7 Coming Undone (Semblance Remix)
I'm a fan of this remix. This is actually one of my favorite songs on the album. The Semblance remix to "Coming Undone" adds fire and strength. This remix amps up the energy of the original song while also keeping the message intact.
The remix is planted in the perfect spot in the album. It acts as a reprise and an intermission. We've heard the song before but not with such intensity. The rest of the album takes a more lighthearted and fun approach. The album's story arc shifts to focus on acceptance.
It does feel like a replay of a song that you'd hear at the end of a movie. It has more of a club feel, but that's expected for remixes. It's flashy, fast-paced, and gives Jacqueline the chance to be a diva.
#8 Find Your Way
The next three songs are more hopeful, peppy, and on the sunny side. "Find Your Way" is noticeably optimistic. It has Saturday afternoon vibes, and it has more of a best-friends-hanging-out feel.
This song is about the freedom and acceptance you find on the other side of a breakup. You're relearning how to do things on your own, and this is hard if you've been with someone for a long time.
"Find Your Way" sounds like a song that would be used for a montage in a romantic comedy. The song is cute, bubbly, and hyper. I haven't tried to dance to it, but I think it would fit as an East Coast Swing number, although it would be pretty fast.
#9 I'll Take It
This song is similar to "Find Your Way" and works as a companion to it. It still has a bit of pep to it, but it's not as fast. Both songs have a best-friends-stick-together vibe.
Whereas "Find Your Way" has a Saturday afternoon feel, this song sounds more like a Saturday night exploring a city with your best gal pals. It's for splurging on fancy wine, laughing at cheesy jokes, riding in limos, and strutting down runways. This song fits the overall core message of Show Them to embrace who you are and to not let anyone limit you.
This song would be appropriate for a club. It has a strong bass line. It's easy to find the beat, and it has a certain bounciness that would keep the momentum going during a party.
I like the unabashed positivity that's oozing off the song. It doesn't give an inch to toxicity. It has a lot of attitude—you're either going to be good to me, or you're a waste of time, and I'm not going to put up with that.
#10 Show Them
If we were to take this album as a story, this song would be the hope that comes after the storm. The grief experienced in heartache turns to acceptance. "Show Them" is the beginning of the end of the album. "Show Them", "I Can Fly", "I Broke My Heart", and "Carry Through" are similar in tone and message. They're more peaceful, happy, and chill songs compared to the rest of the album.
Instead of piano, the guitar is the instrumental star. Add some drums. Add some background vocals. Add some hopeful words. And you've just about got "Show Them". The song reminds me of one of the biggest hits in the past decade: Avicii's "Wake Me Up".
"Show Them" has that same pep as the Swedish DJ's mega hit. It has that same liveliness that makes you want to be around other people. The lyrics in "Show Them" and "Wake Me Up" are thematically similar. They're about finding your place in the world and freely expressing yourself.
Jacqueline's vocals do remind me a lot of Shakira on this number. She uses similar enunciations. It reminds me of Shakira's slower songs, like "When a Woman", "Coconut Tree", and "Dreams for Plans".
The namesake of the album wraps everything together into a cohesive whole. This song has a sensible design from Jacqueline's vocals, to the background instruments, and the lyrics. It is an empowering song that fits any age group.
The song starts off with encouraging words:
"Soon they will see they've underestimated all the secrets you keep. You're meant to be everything you're seeing in your wildest dreams. They'll try to make you prove just like they always do. It's time to make your move, it's time to fight for you..."
#11 I Can Fly
"I Can Fly" will likely become one of her more popular singles. It's a simplistic, acoustic song that's authentic and true to its colors. This is one of the songs that reminds me of Taylor Swift and her more subtle, folk numbers.
"I Can Fly" inspires hope. It's about freedom, exploration, and independence. There isn't pain and anguish in this song. It's uplifting—it makes you feel as light as air. In the interview I had with Jacqueline, this was her twin sister's favorite song and her two daughters'.
This song is more innocent and sweet. It's catchy, memorable, and leaves you feeling assured. It radiates with serenity. I would sincerely be surprised if this song doesn't turn into a fan favorite.
Songs Meant For Imagery
Jacqueline has a strong ability to create music that could easily fit TV and movie scenes. While listening to her music, I thought of several different superhero movies, soap operas, CW dramas, music videos, and animes. This doesn't normally happen to me when I listen to albums.
#12 I Broke My Heart
"I Broke My Heart" reminds me of Taylor Swift's Folklore and Evermore albums. It's also the song I feel sounds the most like Kate Bush. Jacqueline has admitted people often compare her to Kate.
The song is more pensive than "I Can Fly", but it is an excellent companion to it. The songs on this album are ordered in a reasonable manner. There was an intuitive understanding of how these songs would relate to each other, and they were arranged in a precise way to take listeners on a journey.
Some songs on Show Them have a heavy, almost gothic-like religious feel. This song is on a kinder spiritual side. Jacqueline takes us back to the style at the beginning of the album, but hope is added into the mix.
"I Broke My Heart" is retrospective; it's more private than the previous songs. I think the song addresses important thoughts that we go through when we re-prioritize our self-care.
In the song's story, someone is trying to piece themself back together. They're acknowledging where they may have hurt or doubted themselves.
This song almost acts like a prayer. Some of the background music and non-syllabic vocals make it sound angelic. The music box like sounds take us back to childhood. Self-care really hits the root when we allow our inner child to heal. The song is about acceptance despite our own personal failures. We have to forgive ourselves despite the choices we make, the hurts we accumulate, and what we unintentionally let fade. We all have blind spots. No one is perfect.
You'll notice some of these lessons packed into the lyrics:
"How many times have I heard before, I should've loved myself just a little more. . . sometimes it's too hard to see who you are."
This song is really beautiful. There is a lot to unpack. Each time I listen to it, I find something new. The vocal track is lovely in itself; the production of the other instruments and sounds is notably imaginative. It all comes together like a wispy dream.
#13 Carry Through
I can see why Jacqueline ended her album with "I Can Fly", "I Broke My Heart", and "Carry Through". If the whole album was an airplane, these songs would be the descent to solid ground. It puts listeners in a good mood. They'll relax as the album finishes.
"I Broke My Heart" and "Carry Through" are similar meditative songs. I think "I Broke My Heart" has more beauty and wildness to it; "Carry Through" is more like awakening from a dream. It's the sunrise, clean laundry, and fresh coffee after a long and troubling week. It's Saturday morning.
"Carry Through" was produced beautifully. Everything blends together into a cohesive package; there isn't anything too distracting. This song is almost—dare I say it—like Sigur Rós.
I'm impressed with how much work went into this album. "Carry Through" is the perfect song to end an album that's robust with style, full of catchy moments, and sprinkled with uplifting messages. "Carry Through" sounds comfortable on Jacqueline's voice. The song is elegant and has a sweeping flow to it. I love that at the end of the song there are these trills—I think they're on a xylophone. It's a delightful way to wrap up the song and album, and it leaves fans wanting more.
Jacqueline showed off a lot of her versatility in this album. She has her own signature to her music and voice. She's a very gracious person, and she also isn't afraid to get messy and dark. She inspires her fans, and they really want to support her and see her grow.
I'm impressed with her vocal control. She manipulates her voice in several different ways and pushes on her boundaries. I like singers who take risks and don't try to keep everything contained and vanilla. She hits some lovely high notes and is comfortable with the earthy low notes.
The vulnerability and emotions are what really sells her. She is authentic and pushes toward emotions, which is a hard thing to do without distorting your sound or performance.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence