Showbiz Analysis with American Idol's Elise Testone
Charleston City Paper
In This Life” (Red Tambo) by Elise Testone introduces the latest red hot mama of song, an “American Idol” finalist (season #11) who really took the bull by horns for her debut, producing, writing and growling out in a primal, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, balls-to-the-wall Joplinesque fury. Man, can she wail the blues, rock like a bitch and purr sexily to get what she wants. It’s all very emotional, multi-genre, satisfying, and, most importantly, not over-sung like Idol judges seem to like.
Elise surpasses even my best expectations with In This Life, which I find to be one of the most authentic, diverse, cohesive, and remarkable albums I’ve heard in years – not just from an Idol alum, but in general as well!
With a stage set reflecting her current personal style (call it an “early ’70s boho/Laurel Canyon” vibe), Testone may be trying to say that’s where her musical roots live. Or the reference may be more aspirational than that. Either way, young Stevie Nicks would have been perfectly comfortable on that stage amid the funky gossamer glam.
Each one of the ten tracks [on Elise’s debut album In This Life] has its own specific “feeling” to it that one might need to listen to more than just once or twice to really grab a hold of, but once they do, they won’t want to let go.