Review Summary: a poem
I first discovered Poema during my born-again Christian days, which lasted from ages 16-22. As I was browsing the CD section of my local Christian bookstore, the album cover of Remembering You
, which had two cute-seeming girls on it, caught my eye. I immediately bought the album, despite having never heard of the duo, and listened to it in my car. I was expecting to hear slow and dreary worship songs about the love of our lives, Jesus Christ – but much to my surprise, there wasn't so much as a single reference to mine and your Savior, and the only love being sung out about was of the romantic variety – the kind between boys and girls.
Poema, I learned soon after, is comprised of sisters Elle and Shaeleen Puckett (who in my opinion don't look anything alike). Elle, the younger sister and the one with orange hair on the cover, is the lead singer and guitarist, while Shaeleen, the older sister and the one with dark hair, plays the keys and does backing vocals. Together, with an apparently uncredited drummer, the sisters create mellow, yet often upbeat acoustic music in which the guitar and the keyboard hold equal responsibility. While Elle's lead vocal melodies carry all the excitement and frustration of the young love of which she sings, big sis Shaeleen is always by her side to offer a harmonization so natural sounding that no explanation other than years of growing up and practicing together would suffice for explaining its perfection.
consists of eleven tracks, and runs for an honest forty minutes. As far as song structures go, there's little to no deviation from the standard formula (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus), but the predictability works in the album's favor, as it is intended to be a relaxed, charming listen. Although, as previously mentioned, the lyrics on the album are about romantic love, the one exception to this theme is the opener, Clean Getaway
. This track, which is a sad and vivid recollection of the girls' father abandoning them at a young age, was likely chosen to start off the album as a way of getting the dark times out of the way so that the lighter topics could shine through afterward.
The main reason Remembering You
was on the shelf that day at the Christian bookstore is because Poema were signed to Tooth & Nail Records, a label that fancies themselves as Christian, but is not exclusively for Christian bands. I've looked through every source of information I could find about Poema on the internet, and have found no indication that the duo is in any way religious. However, given the clean lyrics and the serene nature of the music itself, Remembering You
still sounds like an album one would pick up on a whim at a Christian store. The trade-off is that instead of getting to hear about
God, you get to hear the singer-songwriter-sisters' God-given talent instead.