Douglas - Just Listen

Sunday 1st August 1999
Douglas - Just Listen
Douglas - Just Listen

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Eden Dust
RRP: £16.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

An album which is impossible to categorise is always an intriguing and New Jersey singer/songwriter Douglas has presented a debut that stretches the imagination. Cool acoustic pop, a splash of jazz, a flash of gospel and tons of soul all topped off with a voice that's packed with emotion. But beyond the music elements, this project is a soulful journey that tugs on the soul. From the light jazzy flavour of the opening testimony "Noble Pursuit" and the inclusion of the gorgeous '70s ballad "Rainy Days (And Mondays)" (a sort of Burt Bacharach type of song!) both of which Douglas pulls off with panache, it's clear this is something special. Strongly heartfelt, "Just Listen" is best heard in one sitting as it maps out the journey of a soul in motion and seems designed to intrigue the listener and the searcher and point them towards Jesus. Towards the end of the album a lone cello introduces "US", a mournful lament for the state of America inspired by the murder of Bill Cosby's son Ennis Cosby. Douglas's mournful voice intertwines with the cello creating a powerful, eerie moving musically leftfield piece that with the right person I can imagine being taken and turned into an ambient dance track! The fact that the hugely optimistic Jesus-centred "Something For Nothing" immediately changes the mood is no accident for this set of songs. Douglas is already working on a follow up and I can't wait. For the moment, if you're looking for something that stands out from the crowd, get this and "Just Listen".

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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