Danielle Bloom provides a bounteous amount of roof-shattering vocals and ear-splitting guitars throughout the retro hard rocker’s new release, Meet Me In The Middle. Her sound is a throwback to classic rock, with a trifling sum of modern elements interspersed throughout the mix, allowing her to create a musical identity of her own. Imagine Pat Benatar backed by Stone Temple Pilots, a musical permutation that gives imaginative music fans a pretty good idea of Ms. Bloom’s sound.
This disc is loaded with plenty of raw, gritty rock, and Bloom has the vocal chops to pull it off successfully. “It’s all for you,” Bloom belts out in the album’s uninhibited opening track, “I Give Up,” which ends with a foreboding synth line.
“Tell me why you gotta lie/to get in my head/to get in my bed,” she demands in the bad-ass rocker, “Tell Me Why.” The preacher’s daughter pulls off this song flawlessly, and with great vocal skill, which Bloom makes seem almost effortless. “The thought of forever is just a dream,” she continues with ample attitude on what is easily the album’s best and most powerful track. The energy continues with the rhythmic funkiness of “You,” in which Bloom concedes, “I’m never gonna let you take away the things that I worked to get/I just hate being used.” These are just some of the lyrical examples this rock diva skillfully articulates, as she confesses to lessons learned in her songs of heartbreak and fortitude, which are recurring themes throughout Bloom’s melodic avowal.
Disappointingly, things begin to unravel after the recording’s first three powerful and adrenaline-charged tunes. The track list begins to bog down a bit with the lackluster “Believe” and “Revolution,” but the momentum returns somewhat with the title song “Meet Me In The Middle.” However, after the album’s energy has waned, it never seems to return to its full intensity. “I Don’t Care” sounds out of place and disrupts the mood and flow of the record. The power ballad, “Another Night,” hints at becoming a great song, but the melody isn’t strong enough to entirely hit the mark.
The song choices included here suggest Bloom is a better vocalist than songwriter. After such a solid and promising start, Meet Me In The Middle loses its focus throughout the second half, which ultimately results in an unsatisfying and disjointed conclusion. And while Middle may not be extraordinarily groundbreaking or epic, Danielle Bloom handles the material with great aplomb, which proposes she has the potential to blossom into an electrifying artist in the not-so-distant future.