Album review: Le Ren – Leftovers

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Album review: Le Ren - Restes

Touching beginnings

Le Ren’s debut album Leftovers is the perfect sweet autumnal folk rock. In its warmth and sincerity, it bears witness to the eternal nature of love, even in its different manifestations over time. From retracing the relationship she shares with her mother to failed romantic partners and friendships, Le Ren creates a kaleidoscope of emotions, all of which fits seamlessly into a representation of the need for connection.

In a nostalgic serenade, Le Ren serenades his mother in the track “Dyan”. Both sweet and genuine, the tribute seems to make her feel saddened by how her childhood experiences with her mother are now only in the past. However, a girl’s devotion is still there with such touching words as “If I could look into the center of the sun, I think I will see her there.” The folk-rock voice also does wonders in portraying this personal and understated performance on the record.

“I love you already” follows a similar frame around the love she feels for her mother. In a softly sung lullaby, she reversed the roles of mother and daughter to show how they nurture each other. It is impossible not to feel such warmth in the song, as if the performance is live. There is a richness in the instrumentals that really brings the song to life. It’s quite remarkable that the track portrays family love so vividly, especially for a debut album.

Distinct from his portrayals of his mother, songs like “Was I Not Enough?” And “Who’s going to hold me next?” have country elements to show how she desires privacy. In a courageous guitar line and smooth production, however, an intimate atmosphere is created. Even when Le Ren describes that it’s not just about romantic love, there is still an intense desire that flows beautifully from the song. The more country performance also quite eloquently presents the universal experience of the need for privacy.

“Friends Are Miracles” really has a poetic lyricism throughout it. If the rest of the album is a testament to Le Ren’s talents, it really comes to the fore in the track. In his verses, the progression of friendships occurs naturally. The production to hear key changes is also a nice touch, connecting deeply to its largely folklore roots. Like most songs on the album, the sadness is recognized, while still retaining the power of connection.

“May Hard Times Pass Us By” is a nice closer to Leftovers by Le Ren, as a hymn to the resilience of love. It has a distinctive pinch style that comes to the fore, creating interesting melodies that have a strong folk influence. Having glimpsed many manifestations of love, the track seems like a natural conclusion so as not to let the harshness of reality weaken his ability to love. It’s a fitting and loving closing track that seems to organically draw inspiration from the many different threads that are traced throughout the album.


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