STYLE: Jazz RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 136750-20321 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Here is a classic example of even when you've got most of the elements in place - a very fine singer with sufficient technique to take on jazz, neo soul and occasional touches of foot stomping gospel; a very fine set of musicians and backing singers (the latter emoting "yeah, yeah, yeahs" like righteous black church's answer to the Beatles on one song); and a most ambitious lyrical concept with "prayers, fears, concerns, hopes, disappointment and triumphs" from the diary of singer/songwriter Ellis' life between 2007 and 2012, you still need another vital element - memorable melodies. There are a few fragments here which suggest the latter, but even there Rae's tendency to cram as many grace notes and vocal theatrics into every line as possible soon leaves the listener frustrated. Buffalo, New York-based Rae is transparently a high class singer capable of making a storming album. But this isn't it. It will take a good producer and one prepared to tell the diva to cut down on the pyrotechnics and write more accessible top line melodies to deliver such an album.
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