Olstead knows just how to tease the pants off every note (and a good proportion of her listeners). Hers is a rare kind of mastery, one that transcends formula because she's so, so good. And that all this comes from the throat of an ultra sophisticated, little-girl-voiced 14-year-old (now turned 15) defies credulity.
What might Olstead's singing do for you? My husband jumped off the couch, grabbed a sheet and began to perform the first strip tease of his life. In the middle of filling two very deep cavities, my straight dentist began talking about the 24-year-old woman he met in his 40s who in one evening taught him more than he had ever known before. Said dentist got so carried away by his musings that I had to remind him that it was my hole he was engaged in filling.
It takes supreme confidence to issue a debut recording titled only with your name. Olstead's got that and more. Brilliant arrangements of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Taking a Change on Love,” “What a Difference a Day Makes,” Barry Manilow's “Meet Me Midnight,” the Gershwin's “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Sunday Kind of Love” and other greats, these performances are so precocious it's scary. Positively irresistible.