Roberta France is an Italian-born musician and singer-songwriter based in London. Described as “slightly jazzy, folksy, quirky and gritty”, Roberta infuses her catchy rhythms and sweet melodies with a unique guitar playing and distinctive vocals. She has toured extensively all around the globe exploring various musical styles. Roberta recently released her video of the single “Baby I’m A Lady”, a song taken from her album “Illusions”. I listened to her album and each track contains something remarkable.
What stands out in my mind is how skillfully and beautifully she handles the diverse tones and moods on this album, and how well she is both faithful to the original folk sound while bringing her own special interpretive insight. She is blessed with both ‘natural’ talent, and the skills of a highly thoughtful, intelligent, and well-practiced singer-songwriter.
All her material contains highly-original arrangements, never overdone, many simple, all eloquent. Roberta is an extraordinarily talented artist who seeks melodrama over authenticity. “Baby I’m A Lady” is both old-timey and contemporary in its execution and sound.
This is the full range of Roberta France’s talent on display here. The arrangement gives her the space to show her ability to sing and play in between elements of folk, jazz and blues. And once she commits to a song, as she does here, she always seems to be having a terrific time.
Roberta France has completely absorbed the language of the American folk song. It strikes a sweet balance between the personal and the relatable. Roberta has a sonorous voice, soft when needed but always intense and intelligent.
The organic instrumentation also allows her voice to shine, and her ability to convey emotion is something that is an ongoing highlight throughout the album. Between the music and her lyrics Roberta draws on emotions and themes that most anyone would be able to relate to in some way – love, affliction, empathy, encouragement, forgiveness – and there is something about her voice that reaches into the soul.
There is some great creativity in her chord progressions, which are especially captivating on “Baby I’m A Lady” as she slides into the soaring chorus. The fleet-fingered acoustic driven rhythm places Roberta in the troubadour tradition, the lyrics fully immersed in detailed scene-setting and characterization.
Tough and vulnerable in equal measure, she takes control and presents this as a song of empowerment. It’s her ability to command her voice, her intensity and power, and the way every note seems to come from a place of pure passion that impresses.
Deeply personal and broadly universal, Roberta France’s brand of songwriting can easily connect with a listener, and it connected with me. She chooses simple words that almost always hit home. Her instrumentals too, provide the lyrics and her ardent vocals a solid set of legs to stand upon.
“Baby I’m A Lady” is written, performed, and produced with enough conviction to convince anyone that her musical vision, which leads her to become more vital with each record she releases, is one to fully embrace.