There’s bound to be a bit of a disconnect trying to match the songs you hear to the artist who sings them on Renee Olstead’s stunning 143/Reprise Records debut album.
Here, after all, is a consummate collection of some of the most beloved standards in the great American songbook, from “Summertime” to “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “What A Difference A Day Makes” to “Sentimental Journey,” and including “A Love That Will Last,” the breathtaking new ballad from Renee Olstead’s mentor and producer, David Foster (famed producer of Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and Celine Dion).
It’s music performed with all the panache, polish and personal flair that has resonated in the repertoires of everyone from Billie to Judy and beyond. Simply put, it takes a lot of confidence, not to mention chutzpah, to take on the classics and make them your own.
Now, imagine accomplishing all that and more at the tender age of fifteen. Small wonder Renee Olstead turns heads and wins hearts whenever and wherever she steps in front of a microphone. But what may start as sheer surprise that a voice so resonant and revealing could come from an artist so young, quickly turns to utter delight at the stylish sensibility and consummate craftsmanship of this Texas-born prodigy. And if you still can’t put it together, you can always just close your eyes and listen.
Fifteen, of course, is a precocious age to have achieved anything, much less the nuanced and supremely assured performances that grace the dozen selections of Renee’s major label debut. But in point of fact, Renee has already compiled an impressive entertainment resume. It’s what can happen when you start your career at five.