New York City-based Alexa Marino shows off strong, commanding vocals on her debut album, Laid Bare, co-written and produced by Alex Hayes. In the sultry “Embolden Me,” Marino sings with a sensual breathiness, a la Gretchen Parlato, that fits perfectly in the chorus especially, with lines like, “Baby I may not know much, but I know your touch.” “Who You Are” and the title track, “Laid Bare,” are downtempo ballads, with more standard pop sounds and structure. Marino’s voice guides the tracks, but auto-tune and synth melodies compete for attention. The songs lose momentum since we hear all the bells and whistles at once. Marino can definitely excite us with even higher heights.