Girl Like This
Like a lot of great artists whose inner muse won't let go until they pursue the deepest passions of their heart, Laura Roppé became sidetracked for some years after getting her theatre degree from UCLA. After focusing her attention on practicing law and starting a family, the hard driving, wildly ambitious San Diego based singer-songwriter now is quickly making up for lost time, inspiring thousands of women nationwide with her liberating breakthrough country/rock anthem "Mama Needs A Girl's Night Out" and her achingly honest ballad "Float Away," both from her dynamic and empowering debut CD Girl Like This. "Mama Needs A Girls Night Out" has taken on a life of it's own since it was selected as runner-up in the San Diego run of country superstar Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star Contest; Roppé, who performed "Mama..." at the Hard Rock Café in downtown SD, received votes from across the country on the local radio station website. Recently, the song was selected for inclusion on a popular CD compilation featuring emerging female indie artists from around the world - "Violet Femmes Vol. 2." Laura's built on it's success with a music video she's posted on YouTube, and she recently posted a follow-up video for another of the album's key tracks, "Little Daughter," a beautiful ballad dedicated to her daughters which is something of a counterpoint to the first song. It was inspired by asking herself, if she had three minutes to tell her kids everything they need to know to grow up to be happy, powerful women, what would she tell them? "The important lessons I've learned,"she declares proudly. Early releases of some of the other tracks have earned Roppé airplay everywhere from Spain, France and Belgium to Canada and Australia. Even more unusual in today's music world is Laura's success on corporate radio with the despair-turned-to-hope ballad "Float Away," which earned Laura an avalanche of response and recognition when it was played on San Diego's top-rated radio morning show "Jeff & Jer" on Star 94.1 FM (Clear Channel), and then picked up by the Mancow show in Chicago (and it's 45 syndicates nationwide). Laura has received emails and letters from around the world praising the song as "inspirational" and "a gift from God." Fans have emailed Laura to say that they are battling heartbreaking difficulties -- cancer, the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, a painful marriage - but that the song is has given them the will to keep fighting on. The road to this recognition was unconventional for Laura, but then everything about Laura's path to music has been out of the ordinary: Roppé's incredible story leading up to her decision to start writing songs and eventually record Girl Like This begins with her running a real life 26.2 mile marathon race in San Diego. After crossing the finish line, she emerged as a different woman, convinced that she could overcome any odds and accomplish the impossible. She went home and wrote out all of the things she wanted to do but had yet to achieve on a legal pad. At the top of the list: singing. She contacted the popular local cover band CoolBandLuke, which was coincidentally looking for a new female lead singer. After putting together a makeshift demo, she got the gig and was soon belting out everything from Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin to Kelly Clarkson, disco hits and Rihanna at private parties and hot local venues like The Belly Up Tavern. In early 2008, Laura made a demo with her cousin Matthew Embree of the Southern California based ska punk band RX Bandits, and she brought it to Grammy-nominated producer Steve Wetherbee of Golden Track Studio in Escondido, California; Wetherbee loved the songs and strongly encouraged Roppé to make a full length album. Girl Like This was produced by Wetherbee and features Embree on electric and acoustic guitar on several tracks, as well as several other well known veteran musicians, including guitarist Marc "Twang" Intravaia, fiddle and dobro player Dennis Caplinger (who played on J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton's The Road To Escondido, which won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2008), and violinist Jennifer Argenti. Fans are hailing Girl Like This as an iconic album for all women, but men are some of Laura's biggest fans, too. Key tracks include "Free," an edgy, hard rocking autobiographical reflection on overcoming her fears of breaking free to pursue her dreams; "Girl Like This," a powerful, sultry number with swaggering vocals and catchy fiddle riffs; and "Sing A Love Song" and "Fly Fly Fly" which are about deciding what world we want to live in and having the courage to go live in that place. READ REVIEWS of \'Girl Like This\': Neufutur Magazine, August 2008: "Girl Like This" begins with the self-titled track; the song is one that brings forth influences from individuals as wide-spread as Carrie Underwood, the Dixie Chicks, and Sheryl Crow. The strong vocals that issue forth from the beginning of "Girl Like This" will ensure that listeners stick with the disc for a good, long time. "Mama Needs A Good Girl's Night Out" has a guitar that immediately explodes in listeners' ears, with Roppe's vocals quickly taking the lead with an absolutely driven set of vocals that anyone (regardless of whether they are a mom) that has children will be easily able to identify with. Where "Girl Like This" was a solid enough track, "Mama Needs A Good Girl's Night Out" will be the track off of the album that rockets up the charts. Despite the fact that "Float Away" has some large shoes to fill, immediately following "Girl's Night Out", Roppe puts forth a track that keeps up the momentum and high quality that listeners have come to expect from "Girl Like This". Furthermore, the track takes a much different track than anything else present on the album, going for a more sedate approach that focuses more on the interplay created by the incredibly proficient instrumentation on the track. Where the songs on "Girl Like This" push on different topics, the tracks on the album combine to tell a story that is as vibrant and as illustrative as any of literature's classic works. The track may sound miles away from the bulk of the tracks on "Girl Like This" - for example, the rock-heavy approach taken by "Free" - but Roppe is continuing the story of her everywoman. This character has a spirit and a fire, without losing sight of what is truly important in her life - her children and husband. Anyone that has the chance to listen to the entirety of "Girl Like This" will be able to understand exactly how momentous and impressive that this album truly is. In just 12 short tracks, Roppe has been able to distill down the essence of this everywoman into an iconic album that should show anyone listening in that, given the desire, that anything is possible. "Girl Like This" is fantastic, and it is an album that will not be taken out of my CD player any time soon. Top Tracks: Fly Fly Fly, Sing A Love Song Rating: 9.2/10 Wildy\'s World, August 2008: San Diego's Laura Roppe is determined to stand country music on it's head. Moving back and forth between classic country and honky-tonk styles, Roppe brings a classy, soulful-alto voice that is much more powerful pure than your typical country crooner. On her 2008 debut, Girl Like This, Roppe unleashes a tidal wave of color and emotion that transcends her genre and raises her to a level that has legs far beyond the bounds of Nashville. Girl Like This is a rockin\' country opening that sets the tone for all that is to come. Mama Needs A Girl\'s Night Out is anthemic for young mothers everywhere and sounds like it might be a marketer\'s dream song. Free is workhorse of a song that crosses over firmly into rock and roll. Little Daughter will tug at the heartstrings particularly if you\'re a parent. Also be sure to check out Ooh La La, Sing A Love Song and Crazy About You And Me. Laura Roppe is the sort of singer that could be singing most any style of music. The material here even ranges into easy listening/vocal genres at times. Girl Like This is a dynamic and winsome debut that could develop quite a following with the right breaks. Roppe\'s songs are very commercially viable without being commercial, and Roppe herself is a charming and warm voice. Make sure that Girl Like This is on your want list. Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5) Robert Benson of iLike2Rock.net, July 2008: Apparently being the runner up in Kenny Chesney's "Next Big Star Competition" in May of 2008 is just the springboard that Country Music's next star needed, as Laura Roppe's debut CD can attest to. The CD "Girl Like This" will soon take the country music scene by storm, as this engaging singer/songwriter is more than just country music ear candy. For many years, her career in music had taken a back seat to a legal career, marriage and being a mother, but when the 'music itch' became too strong, she resumed her career in music. In 2006, Laura was the lead singer of the popular Southern California cover band CoolBandLuke, belting out cover tunes from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Lucinda Williams, and Kelly Clarkson. Combining an eclectic mix of influences (such as the Indigo Girls, Carly Simon, Shania Twain among many others) and Laura's unique voice and fresh style, the debut CD is a compelling array of edgy country girl sounds and rare, intoxicating country flavors. Let's explore the music: The single, "Mama Needs A Girls Night Out," is certain to top mainstream Country Radio and is full of fun country music, memorable lyrics ("babies on the brain" and "put your skinny jeans on") and a "Mom's Gone Wild" chorus that every mother who hears the cut can identify with. And when you add inventive guitar work, titillating fiddle work and stellar musicianship-you have a recipe for success. The title cut, "Girl Like This," combines a Shania Twain-like sassiness with an infectious melody and will be right at home on the Country Music Charts. "Fly Fly Fly," with Edie Brickel-like vocals, is a fun, country ditty and just makes you tap your foot with anticipation and sing along. "Float Away" may remind some of Jodie Messina, but others may hear vintage Carly Simon and the song is sung with angelic precision and passion. The cut "Little Daughter" may be her signature ballad, with poignant, emotional lyrics that is sung and played with tenderness and warmth that shows you that it is sincere. Other songs include the sashaying cut "Ooh La La," with great guitar licks adeptly mixed with her unique country growl and spicy solos. "Come To Me" is another fantastic country number, with dreamy lyrics and achingly tender acoustics. "Sing A Love Song" is full of inventive harmonies and an irresistible chorus. And the cut, "Crazy About You And Me," just may be a new look at love gone wrong and has a delicious catchiness to it. All in all, there is not a weak cut on Laura Roppe's debut CD, "Girl Like This." The music transcends typical country music boundaries and is full of expressive vocals, polished country pop and well-crafted instrumental sections and will certainly take the country music scene by storm. This stunning debut is just what country music has been looking for and I, for one, can't wait to hear more!