Leela James has one of the smoothest, most sincere voices of our generation. Her music strikes with such a conviction that places the listener right in the center of her situation. She continues that formula on her latest release, Did It For Love. Her new album is quite refreshing in a time where substance is painfully lacking in today’s music. She’s currently on tour in support of her new album. After just one listen, I’m sure you’ll want to get your tickets.
Did It For Love is a well rounded Love 101 session. Leela kicks off the 40 minute set with the frustrated tune, “Hard For Me”. Here, she sings about a lover who won’t let his wall down to let love in. However, she flips the script on “Don’t Mean A Thing” and “Don’t Want You Back”. The former track is an uptempo, dance song that reminds us that actions speak louder than words. This is especially true when it comes to love. The former, “Don’t Want You Back” is a sexy, dismissive number that shuts down a man who lost his chance with her. She has moved on and has no signs of looking back. I can easily see this song being a successful single from the album.
Leelah James sings about faded love memories that she yearns for on the heartfelt, “I Remember”. Dave Hollister joins her for a worthy vocal pairing on the upbeat love song, “Good To Love You”. This one may remind you of R. Kelly’s “Step In The Name Of Love”. “There 4 U” has a throwback 70s style groove. There are many songs that promise a safe haven for love. However, when Leela James says it, you know that come hell or high water, she means it.
Although Leela James has a no nonsense persona, she gives major props when they are due. She isn’t afraid of randomly catering to her man, as evident on the beautiful ballad, “This Day Is For You”. She offers herself for love on the rousing “Take Me”. Meanwhile, “All Over Again” is a bare bones, soul stirring confession of love, backed with simple production of pianos and light drums. This is definitely one of my favorites on the album. “Our Love” kicks up the pace again with horns and an infectious melody that finds Leela singing about an incomparable love.
Leelah James closes out the 12 song set with the title track, “Did It For Love”. She admits that she’s possibly made some bad decisions (and good ones too) in the past, all because of love. There are few that can navigate through the waters of love as effortlessly as Leela James. So, here’s to another collection of her heart through song that will be in heavy rotation for quite some time.