Material: The Millen Sisters are a pair of identical twins who identify with classic soul music of yesteryear, an ironic sentiment that connects two young women in their twenties to an era of R&B that saw its heyday come and go nearly 60 years ago. Nevertheless, the fact that their original music shares many components inspired by singers like Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and Cheryl Lynn, has helped them book live shows as the opening act for legendary bands like The Temptations and The Spinners. In fact, “Whatever,” an unreleased track from their upcoming debut EP, is built upon a series of chord progressions and vocal cadences that are fairly reminiscent of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.
Musicianship: In addition to incorporating soulful traits from several R&B oldies into their own music, Sonia and Sabrina Millen also rely heavily on an assortment of dance steps made popular by renowned ’60s Motown groups like The Miracles and The Supremes. The lyrical content that they sing at live shows often carries an uplifting undertone. In that sense, their artistry is comparable to the gospel duo Mary, Mary.
Performance: The Millen Sisters kicked off their show at the Saban Theater as the opening act for The Spinners. In matching red stage wear, Sonia and Sabrina performed a 30-minute set without the accompaniment of any band members or back-up vocalists. Instead, the duo sang over backing tracks. The New Jersey natives catered to the generational penchant of the audience by covering six classic R&B tracks. Their rendition of “Best of My Love” by The Emotions held steadfast as the crowd favorite.
Summary: Although the music from their set was dominated by classic oldies by other artists, The Millen Sisters also implemented three original songs, the best of which was a new composition called “Jump In.” A disco track with elements of funk and soul, the song prompted a spirited response from several audience members. Going forward, perhaps the entertainment value of the sisters show could be heightened with the inclusion of a DJ or a band to help them transition from song to song. Overall, this performance by The Millen Sisters was highlighted by their vocal harmonies and classic choreography.
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Players: Sonia Millen, lead vocals; Sabrina Millen, lead vocals