It seems to be turning into a bit of a sweet soul weekend in
The Wolfcave. Mrs Wolf has gone off to her sister's place in
Scarborough for a few days, taking Scatty and Gritz (the twins)
with her, so I'm catching up on a bit of hard-earned R&R.
Angela Johnson's new album 'It's Personal' (and a decent bottle
of Buzet - or two!) is proving to be very good company.
Her previous three albums : 'They Don't Know' (2002),
'Got To Let It Go' (2005) and 'A Woman's Touch Vol.1' (2008)
are all very fine recordings (particularly her debut) which I would
strongly encourage you to explore if you haven't already done so.
This most recent collection of 11 fine compositions finds
Ms Johnson in a mostly upbeat frame of mind. (Not that there
aren't a few familiar mellow corners to be found - a blissfully
uplifting duet , 'All In Me', with Darien and the deliciously
laid-back and sultry 'For You' among them).
The greater part of the album, however, finds its groove in a classy
funky/jazzy formula chock full of scrumptious harmonies and
effortless vocal fireworks. Have no doubts whatsoever, Ms Johnson
has got a voice strong enough to stop a charging bull in its tracks!
Powerful but never brash; emotional but never crassly so, it is a glorious
instrument, unafraid of taking risks but never over-egging the pudding.
Her talents also extend beyond writing and singing to playing all the
keyboards (with confident and competent finesse), programming the
infectious beats and creating supporting vocal harmonies of stunning
quality and complexity. A few tracks are enhanced by the efforts of guest
musicians. Ms Reynold's violin and Ms Hughes' cello contribute warmth,
texture and depth to cracking opening track 'Only One', as well as to 'All Of Me'
and 'For You' (Mr Garner's guitar solo on the latter is, however, a badly judged
inclusion - It sounds like an angry wasp trying to escape from a bottle!).
Additional sax provided by Ms Hill and Ms Sevian on the punchy 'Be Myself'
contribute yet another tasty level of flavour. Pamela Fleming's fluid trumpet
solo on title track 'It's Personal' also deserves a special mention all its own.
For sheer feel-good, dance-in-any-way-you-are-able-to, fun
my money's on 'Get Myself Together'. It had all my toes twitching
in time from the first bar until the last. A complete hoot of a song!!
Five big howls go out to Angela Johnson for this sublimely crafted release.
on 8 June 2011
In a time when such much that comes out in the R N B market sounds so much the same it is really refreshing to hear something that is original. For those who have not heard of Angela Johnson or not tuned in to her material, what are you waiting for, this is perfrect introduction. Excellent CD not a single bad track you'll need to skip. Enjoy!