Lori Michaels: Living My Life Out Loud

Anyone who has seen one of Lori Michaels’ wild Atlantic City stage shows knows this self-proclaimed “Dyke Diva” thrives on funky pelvis-thrusting shock value. For her Living My Life Out Loud debut, she likes to hit you over the head with the fact she’s lesbian while asking that musical question, “where’s the bar?” The Fairview, New Jersey native might’ve graduated NYU with a pre-law degree, but she’s taken her obvious intelligence to formulate a modern public persona that’s as entertaining as it is calculated. Catchy and body-moving tracks like “Girl Thing” and “Meet Me At The Partay” could very easily become generational anthems. Why the hell not?

A singer/songwriter/arranger/keyboardist/choreographer, Michaels knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. This debut, as a result, is pretty damn impressive. Who would’ve thought a white Jersey girl could make an R’n’B album so funky and still sound authentic? Think Justin Timberlake on estrogen or Madonna with a strap-on. Properly mixed, with the production acutely keying on crisp trebly detail, Michaels can croon a sexy ballad one minute before becoming a ball-busting dominating vixen the next. Her voice is expressive; her material action-packed.

We’ve come a long way since being exposed as gay could ruin a singing career (google the tragic Johnny Ray). Michaels has proven it could actually be a savvy career move in this day and age, only, of course, if you have the music to back it up.

And she does.

In A Word: Smart