The charm and charisma of Back To Me, the new album from sultry songstress Shana Halligan for Plug Research Music due out October 16, 2015, is an exploration of human sensuality told through songs of romance, heartache and personal reflection. Adding that perfectly sealed kiss of mystique, pain and hope, Halligan’s uniquely tortured voice brings back the art of classic vocal allure mixed with modern--day, moody production. Picture this: a Prohibition Era speakeasy in 1920s America backed by a futuristic electronic jazz band. Cutting through a haze of thick cigar smoke and the clamor of clinking martini glasses, Halligan stands tall and confident. All eyes are on her as she sashays across the stage. All ears are in tune as she lets her innermost emotions sink to the deepest pits of the soul. Her voice carries the vintage appeal of emotive jazz crooners, the ferocity and freedom of a modern woman in charge of her artistic destiny, and the vigor of a performer fully realizing her creative zenith. It’s a force all unique to Halligan and perfected on her latest accomplishment, Back To Me.
As Halligan’s return to full form, Back To Me is of the flesh, of the heart and of the soul. Smart and sexy, the 13--track album challenges pre--conceived notions of pop music as she mixes her trip--hop background with downtempo, electronic-- charged modern jazz. It’s a formula best represented on standout track “Illuminate,” an endearing introspection of unconditional love and acceptance set to the smooth beat of saddened, current--day pop equally comparable to Lorde and Lana Del Rey. On the rainy day piano sulk of “Been Waiting,” Halligan lets go of all inhibition and bears her total essence for all to witness. It exposes a tumultuous episode in Halligan’s personal and professional life as it all gets complicated with her pregnancy (Halligan discovered she was pregnant just as she was wrapping Back To Me and gave birth to her son Otis in July), which brings both feelings of intimidation and future dreams of motherhood. Still, Halligan sounds at her most powerful and most assertive on “Get Gone,” an ode to her past where she indefinitely kisses off all the spirits, relationships, and romances that once haunted her. In one fell swoop, she overcomes life’s biggest hurdles: “Go, get gone / I'm making big moves on my own.”