on 12 August 2011
Ledisi has incredibly powerful vocals which really suit the funk and soul vibe to this album. She is definitely having fun and enjoying her newly found fame, choosing an exciting change in direction following her critically acclaimed and commercially successful previous outing, "Lost And Found". The only slight problem having really strong vocals is that it can tend to become a habit to overuse them and this occasionally happens on "Turn Me Loose".
On "Runnin'" and "Turn Me Loose", which are very cool slices of combined funk and blues, she has a tendancy to oversing at times and on "Everything Changes", a catchy funky track, her vocals overpower the arrangements. However, "Higher Than This" and "Goin' Thru Changes" are really soothing ballads and are actually sung beautifully. "Knockin'" is a very slick funk rock track where her vocals are nicely absorbed by the music for the most part of the song. Other strong tracks are "Alone" which has a great beat and the two soulful tracks co-written with Raphael Saadiq, "Love Never Changes" and the wonderful "Please Stay". "I Need Love" is a more atmospheric track, but fits in well with the rest and "Trippin'" is very slick and cool. But the highlights of the album are the last two songs. "The Answer To Why" is a sweet guitar led ballad that builds into a fiery gospel anthem and "Them Changes" is a powerful slice of fiery fast paced blues.
Only "Say No" is a bit too middle of the road and ordinary. Therefore, this release is a success and has some very exciting and pleasurable moments that make it a worthy purchase. Ledisi is someone to watch in the next few years as this album shows real promise and she does have a natural raw talent.
Ledisi Anibade Young deserves more than polite applause from table
two in the dark corner of the room for her new album 'Turn Me Loose'.
We are talking big, big talent here and I'd like to put in a few good words on her
behalf. Ms Young has a terrific voice and the fourteen tracks she delivers here
tick all my boxes for her inclusion in the exalted upper echelons of Primadivadom.
I've never been too much a fan of Christmas albums so her 2008 album
'It's Christmas' left me a tad cold truth-be-told. Not quite a turkey but pretty close!
2008's 'Lost and Found' is a far more wholesome secular proposition but the
production has a lean, somewhat ungenerous quality which does not do justice
to what this very fine performer is eminently capable of delivering. Slim pickings.
In comparison 'Turn Me Loose' is a hearty four-course meal complete with
a funky amuse bouche (the bumpin' and grindin' intro 'Runnin'") and the
elegant Buddy Miles cover 'Them Changes' to round off the banquet (a
richly rocking Belgian truffle of a song if ever there was one!)
Ms Young has a fearless upper register and a fruity mid-to-bottom range.
Listen to the way she rolls with the laid-back rhythm of 'Everything Changes'.
Her impeccable phrasing and effortless dynamic delivery are quite stunning.
Title track 'Turn Me Loose' has a groove so lithe and slinky it made me think
(unaccountably!) of an alligator lurking, immobile and waiting, just below the still
surface of a dark green river, patiently stalking its prey. Happy snappy music!
'Alone' is one of those songs which comes along once in a while which needs a
very particular kind of voice to make it come alive. Ms Young knows just what
to do to make it her own! With the very lightest of touches she brings a silvery
magic to the deceptively complex melody and mercurial arrangement.
'Love Never Changes' is a gloriously old-school R&B composition of the very
finest pedigree. Loose-limbed, languid, sensual and utterly convincing.
The guiding light of Chaka Khan is not a million miles away in the velvety
harmonies and beautifully controlled raw energy of the central vocal
performance of 'Say No'. Our hostess purrs like a kitten and roars like a lioness!
'The Answer To Why' is simply sublime.
'Turn Me Loose' is an album for anyone who dares to care more about substance than style.