Amanda Perez is barely out of her teens, but she writes tunes that have an astounding maturity, songs of love and loss, of passion and desire, and sings them as if she's been in the game for decades. With two records already under her belt, Perez drops I PRAY, which may be her most compelling album to date. "Dedicate" speaks of drifting away from the love of her life in a commanding manner; here Perez pours out her soul sincerely and passionately while maintaining a sonic sensibility just to the left of teen pop.
The title track incorporates a gospel edge into an introspective tale of longing, while "Fire" shouts the praises of an ardent, capable lover in a language that brings a racy, though not dirty, angle to a familiar topic. It's that sort of sincerity that sets Perez apart from the onslaught of young women who blend R&B with pop and hip-hop. Perez backs those earnest lyrics up with a dulcet, malleable voice that sneaks its way around a tune before capturing its heart. Perez is a soul to be reckoned with, and I PRAY is her assured introduction to the world at large.