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2007 | Reviews



 
 
 
 

Peabo Bryson - Missing You Title: Missing You
Artist: Peabo Bryson
Label: Peak Records
Year: 2007

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Peabo Bryson has a new album out entitled "Missing You". It's the first album in eight years of this well-known crooner. There are eleven tracks on this romantic album which easily could have been named after anyone of these tracks. They are all ballads, one more uplifting than the other but all of great quality. A sweet mix of tempi.

Singing ballads has always been Peabo's trademark. The man is good at it. He sings with all his heart and soul. Apart from singing Peaobo Bryson has also been busy producing and writing songs for this album. Other executive producers are Andi Howard and Max Wexler. Barry J. Eastmond is the album producer and has also has his share in writing ,composing and playing on the album.

The strong opener on "Missing You" is called "Heavenly". As this song begins you immediately become aware that Peabo is still going strong and that he has not lost his magnificent voice. He is of the generation that has learnt to sing songs with grace. Sometimes he sings solemnly too like in the wedding song "I Promise I Do". One of the sweetest and at the same time saddest ballads certainly is the title track "Missing You". Kind of uptempo is the song "To Love About". A very sensitive track is "Don't Make Me Cry". It's sound like a love serenade. Boney James -saxophone- and Freddie Washington -bass- gives their best on this track. There are so many reasons to get this album especially when you hear passionate songs like "10,000 Reasons" and "Don't Give Your Heart".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Heavenly, Count On Me, Waiting For Tomorrow, Missing You, Don't Make Me Cry, 10,000 Reasons, Don't Give Your Heart
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Will Downing - After Tonight Title: After Tonight
Artist: Will Downing
Label: Peak Records
Year: 2007

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Will Downing is a singer who regurlarly brings an album out. His 2007 release is entitled "After Tonight". The majority of his vocals were cut from his wheelchair at home. You will find ten tracks on the album including the between the sheets remix of the title song. We all know that Will Downing has a sweet and warm voice. On the first track "Will's Groove" he promises to give us something slick, sweet and smooth to move our bodies to and that is exactly what he does on this album.

The most uptempo song is "Lover's Melody" featuring vibraphone player Roy Ayers. It has a kind of disco beat in it. The other songs are smooth ballads sometimes kind of jazzy as in "All I Need Is You" featuring Kirk Whalum. From the smooth ballads the most soulful one is definitely "After Tonight". The most sensitive one however might be "You Just Can't Smile It Away". Very noticeably is the beautiful orchestration of all the songs.

The album is all about music and there are no spectacular developments on it. But that is not necessary. As a fan you can just enjoy the clearity and musicality in Will's warm and romantic voice. (TA)

Stand Out Tracks: After Tonight, No One Can Love You More, Lover's Melody, Satisfy You, You Just Can't Smile It Away
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Carl Thomas - So Much Better Title: So Much Better
Artist: Carl Thomas
Label: Umbrella Records
Year: 2007

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Solid and soulful R&B music is what you will find on the album "So Much Better" from Carl Thomas. There are one intro and two interludes on this eighteen track long album. Most of the tracks are written by M.Flowers We also see familiar names like that of singer/songwriter Gordon Chambers-one song- and Troy Taylor-three songs-in the CD-booklet.

Other familiar names are those of Brandy and Lalah Hathaway.The music is about love and feelings that go along with this emotion. "Somethin' Bout You" featuring Brandy is a song about someone to who you are attracted, but you don't know exactly why this attraction. It's a nice song about discovering love. "2 Pieces" is a song of apologies for bad behaviour in a relationship. Another song of regret is the title song "So Much Better".

We hear reggae music on the album in the song "Oh No You Can't Be Serious" that you will find twice one the album. Besides the delivery of Carl Thomas there is a version of the song featuring dance hall artist Baby Cham as well. Another song that you will hear two times as well is "Late Night Rendezvous". One with Carl and one version featuring rapper E-40 who will release his own new album "The Ball Street Journal" early 2008. In the song "Home" we discover the family man Carl Thomas.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: 2 Pieces, Another You, Thought You Should Know, Somethin'Bout You, So Much Better, Home
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Rahsaan Patterson - Wines & Spirits Title: Wines & Spirits
Artist: Rahsaan Patterson
Label: Dome
Year: 2007

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Originality, creativity, craftsmanship and love for music is what you will discover on "Wines & Spirits" the new album from Rahsaan Patterson. It is an excellent album from an exciting artist. It's so amazing to hear how the lyrics come alive on each and every song on "Wines & Spirits". When Rahsaan sings it "Feels Good" it does feel good and if it is "Pitch Black" it's dark. Experience it yourself on this twelve track album.

The album starts pretty funky with "Cloud 9". Very catchy and inviting you to dance and romance is "No Danger". Besides funky music we here rock in "Pitch Black", hip hop in "Time" and soulful ballads like "Feels Good" and "Stop Breaking My Heart". The song "Oh Lord" is definitely rock and roll and is a bit in the spirit of "The Seed" from Cody Chesnutt. It is an australian-danish production. Producers and songwriters who worked with Rahsaan are amongst others: Jamey Jaz, Keith Crouch, Ian Read and Audius Mtawaira.

Musically "Wines & Spirits" is full of pleasant surprises. One of those sweet surprises you will find in "Delirium" where a music style called "Charleston" is so cleverly used and where the humming in the background is awesome. Elsewhere on the album the electronic sounds in "Water" are working hypnotic. Your most favourite track on "Wines & Spirits" might be "Deliver Me". The changes in sound and tempo in this song make it a masterpiece.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Feels Good, No Danger, Stop Breaking My Heart, Water, Deliver Me, Higher Love, Stars
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Emily King - East Side Story Title: East Side Story
Artist: Emily King
Label: J Records
Year: 2007

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That Emily King was born to sing you will hear on her debut album "East Side Stories". On thirteen tracks Emily shines her light on stories about love, sadness, racism, injustice, survival and freemdom. It's incredible how someone as young as Emily finds the right words and honest emotions to address these themes. Her music is melodic and warm , but at the same time rebellious and cool. Yes she's cool!

Soul, R& B, hiphop, snippets of melodic rock , a taste of bossa nova and reggae-soul are the main ingredients Emily King has used to create a kingdom of sound. Her voice and guitar are the crown. But don't be jealous because as you will find out from a rocky track one "Walk In My Shoes", it's not easy being Emily.

She had to fight colour prejudice as we learn in "Colorblind". But fighters mostly turn out to be strong people and it is more than "Alright" to hear Emily sing on this sample of Bruce Hornsby's "That's The Way It Is". We notice that Emily King is a Bill Withers fan when we hear her interpretation of "Ain't No Sunshine".

The most beautiful songs are the ones that Emily King wrote all by herself; "It Was You" is a breathtakingly beautiful song and "Business Man" comes straight from the heart. In "Never Be Lonely" the horn section is great and "Ride With Me" has that reggae soul flavour we know from Luciano and Toots and The Maytals. You'll love the sweet soul music in "Hold Me" too. The beauty of "East Side Stories" is in the stories-lyrics-, the diversity of the music but primarily in Emily's voice.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Walk In My Shoes, Colorblind, Alright, Hold Me, It Was You, Business man, Ride With Me
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

April Hill - Love 360 Title: Love 360
Artist: April Hill
Label: Soul Brother Records
Year: 2007

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What you will hear on "Love 360" the debut album from April Hill is a musically rich voice. In ten carefully selected songs we will make the circle of love with this young and exciting songstress from ul city Atlanta.

April Hill sets the tone for "Love 360" in the splendid opening track called "The Search". The words get a meaning as April sings, the melody line is awesome and the backing vocals are great. Jazz and soul meets eachother in a brilliant competition where only you as a listener can win.

The album is produced by Marlon Saunders and Shawn Lucas. April has that distinctive voice which is one of the trademarks of great singers. It's warm and soulful but most of all rich in colour and shades. You can't avoid to make the comparison with a big name like Randy Crawford when you listen to the wonderful song "Hope He'll Be happier".

The music in "Manupilation" is full of suspense. The songs therefore feels like a musical thriller. In it's approach it brings in mind The temptatios who also had these kind of songs like "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Another beauty is the ballad "Feelin' You" that starts with a lovely piano intro. In this song the glorious times of soul music are revisited. You will think about Aretha Franklin in her younger days.

"I Can't Stop Loving You" begins like an Earth Wind And Fire song but than changes to a darker then blue soul song like we know from Marlon Saunders wonderful album "Enter My Mind". Is this a Saunders' composition? A nice surprise to finish the album is the kind of philly soul disco song "No More Tears". With "Love 360" April Hill will conquer the heart of every music lover.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: The Search, Feelin'You, I Wanna Be Free, Hope He'll Be Happier, Manipulation, I Can't Stop Loving You, No More Tears
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Sir Joe Quarterman - Sir Joe Quarterman and Free Soul Title: Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul
Artist: Sir Joe Quarterman
Label: Soul Brother Records
Year: 2007

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The CD "Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul" is collection from a funk album from this group of the seventies with some bonus tracks that have been singles. You will find eighteen songs on this funky album.

The album gives a good look at issues in America of the late sixties and early seventies. We learn from the opening song "So Much Trouble in My Mind" that there were junkies too at that time and that the Vietnam war was a hot issue. Not much have been changed since then because today we still have junkies and war, not in Vietnam but in Iraq.

The music is funky like we know it from James Brown but in a different style. Where James Brown was a flamboyant soul man and actor Sir Joe Quarterman feels more like a singer/songwriter. Quarterman also has som Stax sound influences on his album especially those Memphis horns that we hear in "I Made A Promis". Anoter reminder of the Stax heydays is "Live Like Brothers" that has been sung in the traditional Otis Redding style.

Social issues are important for Sir Joe Quarterman and Free Soul.They stimulate you to go to school to achieve freedom by better education and "Give Me Back My Freedom" is a title that speaks for itself. In "The Way They Do My Life" you feel the spirit of Curtis Mayfield with the kind of sound he introduced on the soundtrack of superfly. "Thanks Dad" is the perfect fathers day song you will love the percussion you her in part 1&2 of this song.

"I'm A Young Man" is a song about the virility of young guys which might be in demand by all women. Today this virility might be in demand by men as well because of the sexual freedom that has been achieved since the seventies."You Konw It's Time" is a lovely to finish this collection of sweet funky music.(TA)

  Stand Out Tracks: So Much Trouble In My Mind, I Made A Promise, The Trouble With Trouble, Find Yourself, Give Me Back My Freedom, Live Like Brothers, This Girl Of Mine, How High, You Know It's Time
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Cornel West - Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations Title: Never forget:A Journey Of Revelations
Artist: Cornel West & BMWMB
Label: Hidden Beach
Year: 2007

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Education, healthcare, the-N-word, Kathrina, jail,hip hop, mendacity and welfare are some of the words put into context on "Never Forget: A Journey Of Revelations" the new album from Cornel West. This album on which Dr.Cornel West worked with some of the greatest names in music-more particular black music-reveals the promised land from a different perspective then what is usually served up on a golden plate to the masses.

Together with Black Men Who Mean Business (BMWMB) Cornel West leads us through the daily life of ordinary people living under questionable circumstances in the richest country of the world, America. With the collaboration of artists like Talib Kweli, Prince, KRS, M1, Rhymfest, Jill Scott, Andre, Dave Hollister, Zulu Neo Abyss, Black Thought and others we make a very interesting and musically exciting journey through a land with huge contrasts. The contrast between the Hollywood-world and Katrina-land, between the ranch in Texas and the hoods.

The music is soul and hiphop in the tradition of Grand Master Flash and thinker Gil-Scott Heron. It's intellectual and streetwise at the same time and definitely a refreshing sound. The declamation comes from Cornel West and the musical wit comes from the excellent artists.

In the first track "Bushonomics" the political situation under the current government is discussed and we find out that War Lords live everywhere even in civilised countries and that you can fight them. You don't have to give up. Racism is one of the items in the song "America" and it feels like Dr.Martin Luther King has fought for nothing, the freedom is fake.

A song about not giving up is "Still Here" a strong message for those who struggle daily to survive. Along side Prince Cornel West encourages us to make the world a better. Raise your socratic questions to the system! Appreciation for the women you will discover in "Soul Sista".

The feeling of insecurity the whole American nation since "911" Cornel West compares with the blues that black Americans are familiar with for ages. He refers to Emmett Till who was victim of a racist murder August in 1955. Another important issue is Cornel's call in the reprise of "America" to respect the gay brothers and lesbian sisters. On the track "The-N-Word" there is very meaningful and enlightning discussion between Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson. Make sure you don't miss it!(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Bushonomics, America, Dear Mr.Man, Welcome2Chi, Mr.President, Soul Sista, Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Man Gone Getcha, What A Matter Of
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Down to the Bone - Supercharged Title: Supercharged
Artist: Down To The Bone
Label: Narada Jazz
Year: 2007

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The idea behind the new Down To The Bone album "Supercharged" was to "Make It Funky". On the eleven tracks of this album you will find nine instrumentals and two vocals. The singers are Hill St Soul and Corrina Greyson.

To add more funk to "Supercharged" producer and founding member Stuart Wade brought in the help of The Dc Horns who play trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and sax. Another guest featured on the CD is vibraphone player Roy Ayers who will give you hot "Electric Vibes" on track number six. Hilary Mwelwa is the one to bring you sunshine on the sweet tones of "Shine To Smile".

Not all the tracks are as destinctive as you would like but those that are sounds very sweet. The lovely piano in "Parkside Shuffle" might be the instrument that gives that special touch to this song. One of the funkiest tracks definitely is "Space Dust". It's kind of old skool funk. The shouts through out this song might remind you of some J.B.'s funk. Just like "Space Dust" the last track is one to make you jump and dance and "Make It Funky". (TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Supercharged, Parkside Shuffle, Smile to Shine, Electric Vibes, Space Dust, Make It Funky
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - We All Love Ella Title: We All Love Ella
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Verve
Year: 2007

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"We All Love Ella" is the title of an album where various artists pay tribute to, the first lady of song, Ella Fitzgerald. Songs she made popular are sung by singers from different generations. We hear a song by Lizz Wright but we can also listen to Gladys Knight.

Ella Fitzgerald herself we only once and that's in a duet with Stevie Wonder. A duet that was recorded live in New Orleans in 1977 with the tilte "You Are The Sunshine Of My Live". In a conversation with Ella and the audience Stive speaks out the words: "We All Love Ella". Ella on her turn praises Stevie Wonder for his muscial wit telling him that he's an example for the generations to come and that she loves him too.

The album begins with a bright and sparkling song from Natalie Cole "A-Tisket, A-Tasket". The first jazz song that Natalie learnt. The legendary Chaka Khan sings the wellknown song "Lullaby Of Birdland" and she also does a swinging duet with Natalie Cole called"If You Can't Sing It, You Have To Swing It". Really jazzy are the tracks from Dianne Reeves "Oh, Lady Be Good!", K.D. Lang " Angel Eyes" and Gladys Knight "Someone To Watch Over Me".

The blues comes in with Ledisi who gives a great interpretation of "Blues In The Night". She sings like it is a one time occassion to make the best of it and gives all of her blues and soul emotions. The sweetest song however might be "Do Nothin'Till You Hear From Me" by one of the greatest blues ladies ever Miss Etta James. What a marvelous voice she has! A kind of fairytale song comes from Lizz Wright while Linda Ronstadt takes us back to reality with the hearfelt song "Miss Otis Regrets".

Another man singing on "We All Love Ella" besides Stevie Wonder is Michael Bublé. On the bonus track Nikki Yanosfky is wonderfully scatting her way through "Airmail Special".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: A-Tisket, A-Tasket, You'll Have To Swing It, Oh, Lady Be Good, Blues In The Night, Do Nothin'Till You Hear From Me, Angel Eyes, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Leroy Burgess - Throwback - Harlem '79-'83 Title: throwback: harlem 79-83
Artist: Leroy Burgess
Label: Soul Brother Records
Year: 2007

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The overall sound of the album is a soulful and electronic mix of music styles like funk, dance and disco embedded in a boogie woogie keyboard sound with a heavy pumping bass and plenty percussion. The melodies on this album entiled "Throwback: harlem 79-83" -although modern- are reminding us of a period with great bands like the Brooklyn Bronx & Queens band, Chic, McFadden and Whitehead and sometimes even of LTD.

The sound comes from Harlem and was composed by singer, songwriter and producer Leroy Burgess with a litte help from his friends. The first track "Midnight In The Streets" is so catchy and invites you to dance and look for romance even if your not on Broadway. It's a great song to party with backing vocals from Jocelyn Brown and Crystal Davis.

Even catchier is the song "Hold Up" which originated from Leroy's brain while he was asleep. He must have had a very sweet dream because it turned out to be a song you can't resist to move on to nice and slow inspite the groovy rhythm. That soulful voice is so sweet in "It's So Easy". What a soul brother!

And the beat goes on is what you'll say when listening to "Fly Girl" yes it goes on all the time through the whole song. It's one of those songs for the rollerscaters in Central Park to show their moves.It will definitely be one of your favourites. Distinctive is also the track "All In To U" a mellow groove where love comes rolling in smoothly with that seductive way of singing from Leroy. With the sunny "Hello It' s Me " the album finishes in a great way, the same way as it started.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Midnight In The Streets, Hold Up, It's So Easy, Fly Girl, All Into You, You Are My Number One, Hello It's Me
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

 

Ebony Alleyne - Never Look Back Title: Never Look Back
Artist: Ebony Alleyne
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2007

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It is a relief to hear Ebony Alleyne sing on her debut album "Never Look Back". In forteen songs she spoils the music lover with good lyrics and excellent melodies.

You will get the impression that Ebony Alleyne is a fan of Burt Bacharach and that she also has a huge collection of records containing seventies soul music. Anyway, a song like "Second Look" and more specific the title song "Walk Away And Never Look Back" will remind you in a pleasant way of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The seventies soul feeling you'll find all through the album but especilally in a track like "Every Lonely Street". The Urban Soul Orchestra Enbony worked with sometimes feels like a Philly soul orchestra. The pictures that emerges when listening to Ebony Alleyne is that of a strong soul lady accompanied by a big orchestra. Probaly she's at her best in such a setting.

A really distinctive factor in Ebony's music is her voice. It is so typical, it is a powerful feature in her music. It is definitely proven that Ms.Alleyne knows her classics when you hear her rendition of the Barbara Lewis song "Hello Stranger". Although Ebony's album is entitled "Never Look Back" it is a pleasusre to listen to its solid soul foundation.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: You caught Me Off Guard, Walk Away And Never Look BacK, My Man, Hello Stranger, No More Time, Merry-Go-Round, Love Is Not A Game, Tell Me The Secret
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Ron Anthony - RA Title: RA
Artist: Ron Anthony
Label: ScorpioGem Records
Year: 2006

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Ron Anthony called his debut album "RA". RA stands for Ron Anthony but you can easily translate these capitals to Romantic Anthony. On the fifteen tracks we find on the album Ron tries to bring the romance back into R&B music.

The woman has a leading role on Ron Anthony's efforts to achieve his goal. She's somebody precious and beautiful and daddy Ron knows how to treat hear as we find out in the song "I Got What It Takes". But she's more tha a body to Ron, she's also a rock in a stormy sea, a creature to adore and cherish like we hear in "You Are My Love Song".

Ron Anthony has a warm voice and his capability to switch between the notes brings variety in his songs. Of course this variety also depends on the producers he is working with like Diablo and Kidd Kold.

"One Love" for example is a soulful song like the O'Jays used to sing. But Ron Anthony is also a contemporary R&B singer which in his approach of his music might make you recall someone like Montell Jordan. Also the family man in him which is crystallized in "My Little Boy" might be very much appreciated by the ladies.

The laid-back R&B in the song "You And Me" is so sweet and sure feels good. Yes, smooth R&B is how you might call Ron's music although it gets rocky sometimes. The vibes are right and the romance is definitely brought back in R&B on "RA" by Ron Anthony.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Ayo, I Got What It takes, You Are My Love Song, One Love, You And Me, One Upon A Time, Pretty Lil Girl, What's Your Name
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Jill Scott - Collaborations Title: Collaborations
Artist: Jill Scott
Label: Hidden Beach
Year: 2007

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Collaborations is such a pleasure for Jill Scott fans. Instead of having to buy 13 different CD's for just 1 song, fans of Jill Scott only have to get this one, to have all the collaborations Jill has been doing for the last couple of years. Collaborations is kind of an appertizer for Jill's new album due for release in the summer of 2007.

What is there left to say about Jill's voice that hasn't already been said. She has an amazing voice. Jill perfectly manages to make her contribution in all the songs blend in with the collaborator, without losing her own style. Wether it is Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul, R&B and Gospel, Jill can manage any style.

This album has collaborations with a variety of artist like Eric Roberson, Lupe Fiasco, The Isley Brothers, Sergio Mendes, Mos Def, Kirk Franklin and a whole lot more. The collaborators are all male. The wide variety of artists make this an album with various styles. Ofcourse this CD contains "God Blessed The Child", the Grammy Award winning song Jill did with Al Jarreau and George Benson. The combinations of Jill and Al is magical. Since both of them have been blessed with an amazing voice.

Jill's song with Lupe Fiasco "Daydreaming" turned out to be a hit in the pop charts. Maybe the fact it was used in an TV commercial had something to do with that as well. The song got well deserved exposure due to this fact. Jill's voice, the violins and Lupe's rap in a somewhat haunting tune, make an awesome combination. Jill not only works with other singers, but also with instrumentalist Jeff Bradshaw. Who ofcourse is a one time member of Jill's band. On his solo debut CD, Jill did the song Slide with him. One of the many highlights on this album is Jill's collabortion with Kirk Franklin. This is the titletrack of the 2001 motion picture Kingdom Come, for which Kirk Franklin did the whole soundtrack.

The only thing missing on this CD is Jill's version of You Got Me which she wrote with the Roots, and was ofcourse made famous by The Roots featuring Erykah Badu. However this CD is worthwhile getting wether you are a Jill Scott fan or a lover of good quality (soul) music.(RJ)

Stand Out Tracks: Daydreamin', Kingdome Come, Let Me, Love Rain(Head Nod Remix), Slide, Sometimes I Wonder
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Donnie - The Daily News Title: The Daily News
Artist: Donnie
Label: Dome
Year: 2007

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Five years after "The Colored Section" Donnie returns with a brilliant album "The Daily News". In the forteen tracks on the album he shares information and his toughts with us on a variety of interesting subjects.

Where others act like we all live in Hollywood or on Fantasy Island, Donnie gives us a realistic view of the world. Besides a great singer-songwriters Donnie is a man of opinions and an analyst. Just like on his previous alum he worked with top-notch producer Steve "The Scotsman" Harvey. Also Jimi Macon from The Gapband, Al McKay and Larry Dunn from Earth Wind and Fire participated on "The Daily News" just like Bobby Watson of Rufus.

The headlines Donnie sings about are: Freedom, 9-1-1, Paedophilia, Slavery, Racism in music, Suicide and the so called "War On Drugs". As you read this don't think you will get the blues because Donnie brings these items to you in away you can handle it and with a spirit to free your mind. You might hear Stevie's influences in Donnie's songs but also his appreciation for Steely Dan.

"If I Were You" is such a sunny and uplifting song that will make your day brighter. In "Over The Counter Culture" you find a lot of material to discuss. In this song he and Phonte from hiphop group Little Brother address the "War On Drugs". The march for freedom is in full glory in "Mason Dixon Line" and the right to think for yourself and not to be submitted to mass control is addressed in "Robot". Paedophiles might change their behaviour if they carefully listen to "China Doll", how can you harm someone so delicate! Donnie is also so right when he sings about the racism in the music business in the song "Blue Eyed Soul".

Get your copy of "The Daily News" from Donnie today. It's brilliant and up-to-date.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Impatient People,If I Were You, Over-The-Counter Culture, 9-1-1, Mason Dixon Line, China Doll, Blue Eyed Soul
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Deniece Williams - Love, Niecy Style Title: Love, Niecy Style
Artist: Deniece Williams
Label: Shanachie
Year: 2007

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After so many years of absence in the mainstream music Deniece Willimas in back with a new album "Love, Niecy Style". The album contains nine covers and a new song from Niecy. Amongst these songs you will also find a cover of one of her own songs "Cause You Love Me Baby".

The artist we know from songs like "Free","Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" and "Let's Hear It For The Boy" is back to business. On "Love, Niecy Style" Deniece Williams assured herself from the assistance of some big names who played a role in her career earlier. This means that we hear Stevie Wonder on harmonica on the delicious track "That's How Heartaches Are Made" while George Duke plays on the George Benson classic "Lady Love Me(One More Time)". Philip Bailey assists Deniece on the Earth Wind and Fire song "Love's Holiday".

Other important contributions are made by saxophonist Everette Harp and bassman Freddie Washington. Philadelphia producer Bobby Eli has been busy producing on "Love, Niece Style" as well.

Besides the sweet R&B songs we know Debiece from she also goes gospel in a tribute to Gwen Guthrie in the really sweet song "This Time I'll Be sweeter". The sweetest song of them all however is the Baby Washington classic "That's How Heartaches Are Made".The new song on the album is "The Only Thing Missing Is You". It is also very nice to notice that Deniece Williams has not given in on quality since we've last heard from her in the seventies. Absolutely certain is that fans will fall in love with "Love, Niecy Style".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: That's How Heartaches Are Made, This Time I'll Be Sweeter, If You Really Love Me, Lady Love Me (One More Time), Never Too Much
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Eric Roberson - ...Left Title: ...Left
Artist: Eric Roberson
Label: Dome
Year: 2007

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That love is beautiful and complex might be your jugdement after you hear the new Eric Roberson album entitled "...Left". The album contains thirteen tracks from Eric and one track from The Smoke Signals. The guitarist in Smoke Signals Curt Chambers worked on some songs on "...Left" with Eric.

Once again in his own style Eric Roberson has delivered a new album. Jazz, salsa, hiphop, soul, R&B it's all to be find on "...Left" in Erro's typical style. To find out what that style is you have to listen to his music.

The album starts very surprisingly with a salsa song and it's a nice surprise. It's a quality of Eric that he can surprise you with his music and keep things interesting. Lust and the different aspects of love are subjects to be found in the lyrics. In "Open Your Eyes" you feel the love while in "Evening" you definitely feel the lust that will propbaly last only one night. Passion we find in "Wright Or Wrong" while love for the -pregnant- woman and family life shines from the "Baby Song".

Encouraging and not only for the "Pretty Girl" is to live your life to the fullest and be who you are. Another song many people will relate to is "If I Had A Chance". In words we all understand a feeling most of us know has been put on a beautiful melody. The chorus in this song and more specific the song "Open Your Eyes" will remind you of the great Stevie Wonder.

A song that's very sweet and one to dream on to is the lovely duet "ILuvU2Much" featuring Algebra Blessett. Track thirteen "Couldn't Hear Her" featuring Curt Chambers is the track where the title comes from and it's the answer to "Couldn't hear me" that we know from the Vaults 1.0 and 1.5. (TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Music, Pen Just Cries Away, ILuvU2Much ,Too Soon, If I Had A Chance, Open Your Eyes, Baby Song
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Soul Desirables Title: Soul Desirables
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Expansion
Year: 2007

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"Soul Desirables" is an album that contains previously unreleased tracks and rare remixes. There are fifteen tracks on this album by various artists one known better than the other.

The compiler of this cd has done a great job providing us with information from the source of the music. It's nice to have music from the likes of Donnie Johnson, Mica Paris, Amel Larrieux and many more artists on one album. In spite of the variety of musicians on "Soul Desirables" there's a consistency in this collection which makes it very pleasant to hear.

The tracks from Luther Vandross, Brigette McWilliams and Mica Paris coming from their Japanese issues are excellent. This makes you wonder how the bonus track on the Japanese issue of "Same Girl" from Trina Broussard would have sounded like, although "Dreamin' Of One" from this girl is a great track as well.

The German producers of Donald McCollum may also be proud of their production and same thing to say about the additional remixes from DJ Spinna and Angela Johnson on Donnie's "Cloud 9". A track you will definitely fall in love with is the duet "When Love Came In" from Lathun with Atlanta soul jewel India.Arie. "Where Did we Go Wrong" which was uptil now only available on vinyl is a very sweet track to dance on, while "Sweet Misery" from Amel Larrieux is kind of underground.

Another great instrument apart from Mica Paris' voice in 'Sixth Street" is the bass, wow it will blow you away.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Bad Company, When Love Came In, Cloud 9, Can't Get Over You, Sixth Street, Dreamin'Of One
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Mikelyn Roderick - Copasetic Is Title: Copasetic Is
Artist: Mikelyn Roderick
Label: Dome
Year: 2007

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You will easily fall in love with "Copasetic Is" the new album from songstress songwriter Mikelyn Roderick. On eleven tracks Mikelyn sings about love in a fresh and pleasant style. Maybe it's because of her Cape Verdean background that the sun comes in when Mikelyn sings.

Her variety in sounds and styles make the album interesting. Sometimes the music is jazzy and groovy and at times smooth but always soulful like in the song "Thinkin'Of Us". Mikelyn Roderick's voice is unique but to give you an idea of what you will hear you can think a bit of Sade.

A nice surprise is the collaboration with super soulbrother Rahsaan Patterson in the duet "If You Really Love Me", a Stevie Wonder song. You will also hear him on background vocals in the Jamey Jaz production "Slippin'", a very funky and groovy track he penned together with Mikelyn. Another producer on "Copasetic Is" is Jimmy "Big Soul"Warner whose song "Fantasy" is brilliantly interpreted by Mikelyn Roderick.

The most jazzy productions are from Mikelyn herself and Mark Rasmussen. The keyboards in "Slick And Deep" together with Mikelyn's smooth jazz vocals take this song to a high level. The same thing you can say about the title song "Copasetic Is" that makes you feel very comfortable.

"Morning Light" is one of those songs you will instantly like yes one of those songs that will make you turn up the volume. "Copasetic Is" is an album for people who appreciate good soul music.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Easy, Slippin', If You Really Love Me, Fantasy, Slick And Deep, Copasetic Is
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Bar-Kays - Hou$e Party Title: Hou$e Party
Artist: Bar-Kays
Label: I.M.Records
Year: 2007

Buy Hou$e Party CD now
Hey y'all let's make some noice with the Barkays on their new album "House Party". The band we best know from the evergreen "Soulfinger" is back on the scene to party with us any way we like it.

"House Party" is for the young and the "old" generation, for the lovers of 50 cent and for the one who grew up with the Barkays themselves. It's a fusion of old skool funk, soul and streetwise beats with plenty sensual expressions. Check out "Holla If You Like It".

But there's the old skool soul love song too as we hear in a songs like "My Everything" and the duet with good old Shirley Brown called "We Can't Stay Together". Shirley reminds of her famous song "Woman To Woman" when she calls Bobby on the phone when the song begins. This song also brings in mind Luther Ingram with "If Loving You Is Wrong I don't Wanna Be Right".

The first track "Sho-Nuff" featuring Jazze Pha is for the party-animals and is already doing good in the charts. If you can't get enuff go ahead and shake some more in "What Goes-N-DA-Club Stays In Da Club". Sweet for the steppers is the stepper's remix of "Glad You're My Lady" while the regular version of this song is more for lovers.

The Barkays are reminding us to support the Stax Museum Of American Soul Music in Memphis, because it all started for them at Stax Records. It's nice that the Barkays are still here and can party.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Glad You're My Lady, Let's Get Bizzy, Holla If You Like It, My Everything, We Can't Stay Together
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Michael Ashanti - All Of Me Title: All Of Me
Artist: Michael Ashanti
Label: Ambassador Music Group
Year: 2006

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Michael Ashanti introduces us to his music on his debut album "All Of Me". On fourteen tracks including two interludes and one outro we discover the drive for originality and creativity from this Newyorker.

As we have learnt from Michael Ashanti he is vocally inspired by gospel and soul music. Musically he embraces different styles from different cultures which might have to do with his childhood when he travelled around the world with his father.

On "All Of Me" we hear a young, gifted and conscious singer-songwriter holding notes. The main ingredients of the album are soul music and r&B accompanied by gospel-oriented backgroud vocals. In "With You I'm Born Again" Michael steps into dancehall and in "Hold On" he moves into dance.

"Cry"is a kind of song that brings in mind "Sly and The family Stone" with their crossover music from soul to pop songs. A delicious and cool groove will make you play "Let Me Go" over and over again. We notice that Michael Ashanti makes a difference between backing vocals and choir vocals. Especially the choir vocals in the gospel tinged song "The Sun Will Shine Again" are fantastic, just like those in "Hold On". In "Hold On" gospel and dance come together to clebrate the good times.

The sweetest R&B song undoubtedly is "A Father's Anthem". In the title song "All Of Me" you'll make a connection to singers like James Ingram and Michael McDonald, artists who really sing from the heart.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Let Me Go, Stranger(You Never Know), Hold On, All Of Me, The Sun Will Shine Again, A Father's Anthem
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Gordon Chambers - Love Stories Title: Love Stories
Artist: Gordon Chambers
Label: Dome
Year: 2007

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The best love stories of 2007 you will find on the brandnew album from Gordon Chambers called "Love Stories". On thirteen sublime tracks you will discover the beauty of music. On the last track-number14-Gordon explains why he has made this album.

We know Gordon Chambers as an award-winning songwriter. He wrote songs for the likes of Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker and Angie Stone to name a few. That Gordon himself could sing as well we noticed with his debut album "Introducing...Gordon Chambers" from 2004.

Now with the release of "Love Stories" Gordon will gather a broader audience. The sensational explosion of passion and love and sensitivity embedded in the most brilliant melodies you have ever heard will appeal to many people.

You'll get so excited when you hear the opening track "The Next Time" that you have to keep your cool to patiently listen to the rest of the album. There are two duets on this CD; a lovely ballad with soulsister Ledisi called "To Love Again" and an inspiring gospel song with Melanie Daniels entitled "Still Blessing Me".

One of the sweetest and most distinctive tracks qua melody and perfomance is "Unfair" while "Violins" might be the most sensitive song on "Love Stories". For each and every song Gordon has chosen the right instrumentation. The piano song "If It Wasn't For Your Love" perfectly illustrates this. Gordon's voice shines through the lyrics and the melodies. It's like the sun that shines in many shades from morning dew to the evening glow on a kind of love we all want to know.

With musical heroes like Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder Gordon Chambers himself soon might be a hero too.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: The Next Time, Get To Know, Unfair, Violins, By My Side, Still Blessing Me, If It Wasn't For Your Love
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Gavin Gregory - First Time Around Title: First Time Around
Artist: Gavin Gregory
Label: Gavin Gregory Productions LLC
Year: 2007

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The full length album from Gavin Gregory entitled "First Time Around" is out now. At the moment of the release of this twelve track album Gavin Gregory is performing in the Broadway musical "The Color Purple" alongside Fantasia.

It's a pleasure to hear Gavin Gregory sing. His vocal capabilities explain why he's been chosen to sing in the Oprah Winfrey production "The Color Purple". Soul music is being revisited on "First Time Around" which has been divided in three parts: Where Is The Love, A New Love and Good Love.

Gavin brings his songs in a very natural way and very convincing. That's no wonder because together with Chukey Charles he has written all of the songs and he knows what he sings about. He also has a wide vocabulary which enables him to comunicate easily, so we'll not find any explicit lyrics on his album. Yippee!

Amazing on this CD is that Gregory does all the vocals himself, it's unbelievable but it's true. If you don't know better you'll think he has a lot of background singers supporting him.

The single "First Time Around" is an uptempo pop song with firm guitar playing."Money On Your Finger" on part I is a very sweet song to sing along to. You'll sing your heart out. Very catchy and groovy is the second song called "Close That Door".

Funkier are the tracks "Get Into My Lovin'" and "You're Amazing" whereas the latter also invites you to dance. A sweet soul music sensation will take hold of you when listening to "Crazy" which probably will be one of your favourite songs on "First Time Around". The real soul songs are definitely to be found on part III a conclusion you will draw when you hear "Over & Over" and the bonus track "He's A Millionaire".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Money On Your Finger, Close That Door, Take Me Under, Because Of Love, You're Amazing, Crazy, Over & Over
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Adriana Evans - El Camino Title: El Camino
Artist: Adriana Evans
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2007

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Ay,caramba! Adriana Evans is back on track with a great album called "El Camino" which means "The Path". In spite of the title which is Spanish the songs have been sung in English except "Blue Bird in Bahia" and "El Camino". The Path is paved with rhythms that will bring you in the highest state of ecstasy because of their sheer beauty.

Adriana Evans has a very pleasant voice to listen to. With her crystal clear and sparkling voice it's like she effortlessly sings the high and low notes. That's awesome. Adriana and producer Jonathan Dred Scott have creatively blended hot and cool Brazilian and latin sounds with jazz, blues and organic soul. Soul and jazz combined with bosa nova, samba and tinges of hiphop is a good overall description of the music on "El Camino". When you have these musical ingredients you have to know how to compose them to make that musical piece of art. Therefore the best thing you can do is of course listen to Adriana yourself.

The first song "Hey Now" is a super relaxed and enjoyable love song brought to you very playfully hmmm. It starts with those sweet beats followed by lovely guitar playing and horns too and on top of it that sweet warm voice of Adriana that offers you caramelo and chocolate. "Blue Bird in Bahia" will make you search for your Jorge Ben Jor collection. Blues and soul are the ingredients of "Same As I Ever Was" which might easily become one of you favourite songs because you will definitely recognise yourself in it. The jazz lovers will cherish "Blue Bird" and if you are into romance "Underneath The Stars" is full of it. Find your own way through "El Camino".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Hey Now, All For Love, Calling Me, Underneath The Stars, Before You, Blue Bird, Never Knew, Same As I Ever Was
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Brian McKnight - Ten Title: Ten
Artist: Brian McKnight
Label: Warner
Year: 2006

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The new album fom Brian Mcknight "Ten" includes fifteen songs. It's a mix of soul and contemporary R&B and it also contains one country song. This album is Brian's first record for his new record company.

The CD starts off with "Used To Be My Girl" a title that might remind some of you of an O'Jays' song. This song however is completely different from what the O'Jays did. It's a production from Tim and Bob who produced Bobby Valentino amongst others, so you will find some similarity with Bobby's songs.

Another song to bring to the spotlight is the lovely "Find Myself In You" where you'll find some "Let's Get It On" from Marvin Gaye in Brian. Being busy making comparisons the intro from the song "The Rest Of My Life" has to be mentioned as well because it's similar to the intro Seal used for "Kiss From A Rose". The country song of "Ten" is the song "Red, White, and Blue" with Rascal Flatts. It is not a love song but a song to support and unite Americans of all races who are at War.

"Ten" is a friendly album full of love songs from a man who is in control of his job which is singing.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Used To Be My Girl, Find Myself In You, Shoulda Been Lovin'You, Again, The Rest Of My Life, Red, White, and Blue, Don't Take Your Love away
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

Vesta - Distant Lover Title: Distant Lover
Artist: Vesta
Label: Shanachie
Year: 2007

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Distant Lover, a great song by Marvin Gaye, is the title of the new album from from Vesta. Besides "Distant Lover" Vesta covers nine other songs on this ten track album, which makes it a cover album.

You will hear from the first start of the CD that Vesta Williams is a talented singer. She opens up in a funky style with "Use Me" from Bill Withers and moves on seemingly with great ease in a more soulful way to cover songs from Steve Wonder to Sade and from Deniece Williams to Smokey Robinson.

As Vesta sings a song you will recognize it but you will also have to admit that she sings it with such grandeur like it was her own song. And maybe it is because she gives her own interpretation to these classic R&B songs.

Good examples are "Whip Appeal" from Baby Face and Steve Wonder's "Knock Me Off My Feet". Also her rendition of "Free" from Deniece Williams and the duet "With You I'm Born Again" with Isaac Clemon will make you feel good.

With her typical kind of deep dark voice and her musical experience Vesta covers both male and female icons of R&B in an honourable way. Could it be i'm falling in love with Distant Lover.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Whip Apppeal, If You Want Me To Stay, With You I'M Born Again, Knocks Me Off My Feet, Free
© 2007, SaveOurSoul

 
 
 
 
 
 
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