STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21847-12701 LABEL: Word 8871442 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-04-30 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Wayne Gough
The one thing you can predict from any Nicole C Mullen album is that it will not be predictable. This is a far more stripped down and personal album than anything we have heard from Nicole before and needs a couple of listens to get into your head, but once it is there, boy does it deliver. What it lacks are some of the jaunty and funky flows of previous albums, replaced instead by more thoughtful and reflective tracks that deal with family, hope and aspiration. "One Touch" stands out as a powerful and emotional track retelling the account of the woman who touched Jesus' hem. There are still some funky moments to be found here, "Convinced" fizzes with energy and passion while the funky urban percussion found on "So In Love" provided by Dan Weiner of "Stomp" fame is quirky and adds to Nicole's ongoing reputation for exploring different sounds and textures. The album builds up into an intimate yet multi layered storybook that reminds me of an old cherished photograph with one corner bent over. It is familiar, warm and real. It may lack the upbeat jams of previous offerings but more than makes up for it with heartfelt and beautifully moving stories that draw you in. A quality offering that has already become a favourite in our household.
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This is the record Nicole C. Mullen fans have been waiting for! With songs containing a decidedly autobiographical feel and straight-ahead production hearkening back to the Redeemer days, this album is sure to be a hit.
Sharecropper's Seed is produced by Tony McAnany (Jennifer Knapp, Point Of Grace, Kathy Troccoli) and will have more of a "stripped-down" acoustic style, in the vein of India.Arie and John Mayer.
Guest musicians include jazz keyboard legend George Duke, bassist John Patitucci (Chick Corea Elektric Band, Wayne Shorter Quartet), bassist Tony Levin (David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan) and others.