After listening to Lelia Broussard’s new album, Masquerade, I kept going back to some of Tom Petty’s lyrics on his 1970s hit duet with Stevie Nicks. On “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” Petty sings, “I know you really want to tell me goodbye … I know you really want to be your own girl.” Well, there’s no need to worry about Lelia Broussard. She wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs on Masquerade, and she’s also on the radar of Rolling Stone magazine and Atlantic Records. I’d say this Lafayette, Louisiana native is doing fine just being “her own girl” now.
On her fourth major independent release, Lelia Broussard has assembled an album of whimsical, upbeat, and soulful alternative indie pop/rock, along with some carefully worded and moving narrative ballads about finding a balance juggling the demands of her career and the quest for true love. She’s not bitter, though. She effectively conveys the feeling that she wouldn’t want to change a thing, because out of all that experience she’s gained so much self confidence and strength in her convictions. She makes that point clear on songs like “Something True,” “Armor On My Heart,” “Spiderwebs,” and “You’re Not Fooling Anyone.”
Produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, Bess Rogers, Allison Weiss) in New York, Masquerade essentially is built around Ms. Broussard’s acoustic guitar playing and her engaging, sultry, vocals. The arrangements are spiced up with an occasional dose of Romer’s acoustic piano, synthesizer, organ and mellotron playing. It sure helps out a lot when your producer is a masterful keyboard player with a knack for knowing just what instrumentation is needed to enhance a song. Sometimes it is the addition of hand claps (“Satellite”), acoustic piano, mellotron, organ, and the lovely background vocals of Bess Rogers (“Shoot for the Moon”) or the kick drum intros on the dance/pop tunes (“Masquerade” and “Hipster Bitch”)