In the back of most people's mind there's a place--usually a dimly-lit, music-filled, smoke-clouded place--where certain memories reside. That first fumbling kiss, for instance. Or a clumsy, halting, but oh-so-sweet slow dance.
Regina Belle has found the key to unlock memories like these on "Reachin' Back," a collection of certified soul classics.
As you might expect from a woman who's made it her life's work to sing songs like these, Ms. Belle has good taste in material--witness her inclusion of two great Spinners tracks, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", and "I'll Be Around ".
On both, her strong, sinewy alto voice explores numerous vocal possibilities. Here, she's wrapping her finely-honed low register around a drawn-out vowel; there, she adds a quiet, almost inaudible gasp to the end of a phrase.
This terrific woman is a SOUL singer, first and always, and she's singing some of the world's best soul songs.
Other highlights include a truly passionate rendering of The O'Jays' "Let Me Make Love To You ", as well as an almost spiritual reading of the Main Ingredient's "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely ", in which Belle reaches back into her prodigious talent--and her legendary pipes--and brings forth note after shining note of powerful soul.
There's no new ground broken on REACHIN' BACK. But hey, who needs new ground when you--and Regina Belle--are happy just to wander back into those precious places in the mind, where the magic memories dwell...
Experience Regina's SOUL !
P.S. A re-issue of this essential recording is mandatory !