“Pushing aside pristine vocals and impeccable phrasing, Halie Loren connects with a tune. Perhaps the one key to success as a vocalist is knowing who you are and being so comfortable in your own skin that you can take songs such as “For Sentimental Reasons” and “My Funny Valentine” and breathe new life into timeless American classics and allow them to live forever... Halie Loren has this gift. The intimacy that permeates Simply Love is more of an evocative experience more so than a traditional vocal jazz release. The addition of strings on this recording provide the perfect contrast in texture for her rich voice with just a hint of a smokey finish. Loren also succeeds in accomplishing what few of her contemporaries can seem to muster and that would be carefully selected standards, a few popular tunes and the addition of some well conceived originals. A well planned, phenomenally executed and deceptively subtle presentation of the joy of song.”
“(F)or sheer vocal beauty and old-school warmth, few among her contemporaries can match Halie Loren. There’s a subtle sultriness to Loren, more smoldering ingénue than femme fatale, that shapes the core of her appeal. She uses it to full advantage on tender, translucent readings of “For Sentimental Reasons,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Moon River,” “My Funny Valentine,” and a stunning “Dream a Little Dream of Me” performed in French. Gently raising the heat, Loren is arguably the first to fully express the intense sensuality of “I Feel the Earth Move”; she extends her predilection for pop material from the ’60s and ’70s with a near-equally voluptuous “Happy Together.” Three of the 13 tracks are Loren originals, all laudable reconfirmation of her songwriting dexterity. “Cuando Bailamos” is a shimmering examination of intense amour, while the cleverly constructed title tune...reflects on the endless ways that poets and tunesmiths have define”
“Heart First is an eclectic yet personal release that sidesteps some of the more self limiting categories induced by the recording industry in favor of a far more organic approach as a story teller... A conceptualized personal release revolving around love and the human condition find Halie Loren scoring big on a release with tremendous cross over potential. Having long moved past the position of jazz critic to jazz advocate, you would have to look long and hard to find fault with Halie Loren and Heart First!”
"She has both an exquisite musical sense and the talent for phrasing that makes a song come alive. Her new album ‘After Dark’ (her fifth) was released late in 2010 and reveals a major star in the wings, soon to take centre stage...She sings with a sense of joy and discovery that has been missing from the music scene for some time. If this is your introduction to jazz, there can be no better."
"It’s hard to imagine Halie Loren not being a star. With a masterful voice that’s part Etta James and part Sarah McLachlan, a subtle touch that allows her to blend vulnerability and sensuality unlike any other artist currently in jazz or pop music, and a talent for phrasing that’s uncanny, Halie Loren is the complete package...After Dark is one of the finest vocal jazz albums of 2010...a must have album."
"...Whether somber or seductive, sedated or energetic, Loren’s varied — and in all ways successful — efforts make you stop and take notice ... After Dark is a shimmering record for those who love female singers who can bring the playfulness, pizazz, vulnerability and sensuality to the songs they perform. Whether light and jazzy or more soulful and reserved, Loren hits ‘em out of the park one right after another."
“... Not only will Loren win your heart, she will grip your your mind and imagination and carry you with her voice through her new album After Dark, which is full of jazz, romance languages and simple, but beautiful storylines brought to life with her strong but vulnerable, feminine but forceful, playful but serious and sexy but reserved voice..."”
"...(After Dark) is the most successful (album) to date, it allows Halie Loren to sing in English, French and Portuguese to perfection and to trace the contours of some jazz standards and popular music from before and today, the final selection of the tracklisting is both classic and bold ... Thirsty is the second and final original composition ... The sweetness of this piece of bossa takes us directly along the beaches with fine golden sand and is a bubble of air, a breath of fresh air in the heart of this cold season ... The charm of Halie Loren has struck again."
"With the subtlest nudges of voice and phrasing, she transforms ('I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For') from quasi-religious ballad into a seared, sepia-toned snapshot of midnight solitude, full of smoldering vocal turns and subtle chromatic runs. It’s gutsy but eminently tasteful gambits like this — trimming Joshua Tree into a weeping willow — that qualify Loren as something more than another golden-throated chanteuse... She is, in every sense of the word, an artist...she reveals an almost auteur-like level of involvement in every aspect of her craft...Loren’s singing conveys the wonders of the invisible world: wounded defiance, stubborn love, hard-earned hopefulness. She sounds like someone who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, and has the chops to make that knowledge a thing of beauty."
"With a repertoire that includes dazzling originals and sly covers from artists like U2, The Kinks, Melody Gardot, and Pete Seeger, Halie Loren’s impeccable delivery helps these jazzy tunes flow seamlessly from one to the next...The real standout track is her original folky pop “Free to be Loved by Me” which calls to mind both Carly Simon and Sarah McLachlan...Her respect for the past is undeniable, while her finger on the pulse of modern music gives her songs a wide appeal that reaches far beyond jazz clubs."
"...(Loren) sounds as if she were born to sing jazz...smooth and full of a sensual grace that recalls Eartha Kitt at the top of her game…They Oughta Write A Song deserves to take a place among the great vocal jazz albums…They don't make them like this anymore."
"...Hell, there’s not a bad track on the disc. I’ve been playing the bejeezus out of it for the past week, and I’m not tired of it yet... From the look of things, there might have been some question about whether Ms. Loren should pursue a career as a singer of pop/alternative material - or a creator of some very good jazz. Use the force, Halie. Highest recommendation for this disc, worthy of a spot in anyone’s library."