Lea Michele, ‘Louder’
If it seems long overdue for “Glee” star Lea Michele to be putting out her debut album — several of her costars including Matthew Morrison, a.k.a. Mr. Schuester, have already done so — she certainly makes up for it with the scope of “Louder.”
The Broadway veteran (“Spring Awakening,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Ragtime”) puts her mighty soprano through its paces on bouncy dance tracks, soaring ballads, and midtempo pop tunes where she straddles the line, mostly comfortably, between Katy Perry and Celine Dion.
When she succeeds the results are moving, including the contemplative piano ballad closer, “If You Say So,” which touches on her last conversation with her late “Glee” costar and boyfriend, Cory Monteith, and manages to be poignant without tipping into maudlin.
While the turbo vocal bursts on “You’re Mine” and “Burn With You” blend nicely with the poppier elements, several of the tracks, including the burbling “On My Way” and the title tune, feel a bit too calculated and anonymous in their production approach. But Michele sings it all with her typical fervor. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “If You Say So”