Sound Proof Room
Label: RCA RECORDS LABEL
Elle Varner is a restlessly inventive writer, and a singer with a sweetly gritty voice reminiscent of Keyshia Cole and Macy Gray. She mostly sticks to love and loss, but she devises nifty twists, from the slurred chorus of "Refill," to being too shy to speak to a crush on "Not Tonight." On "So Fly," she's a woman who frets over her body measurements, like TLC's "Unpretty." The one thing keeping Varner's debut Imperfect is the production: Save for the Biz Markie-inspired percussion on "Only Wanna Give It To You," its R&B-by-numbers can't keep pace with her outstanding lyrics.