on 26 February 2004
This half-Welsh, half-Ghanaian songstress certainly can warble, and her debut set opens with the very cool, very sexy and very now: "Say How I feel" and "Stealing My Peace Of Mind" that are very much top of the class efforts from one clearly aspiring to the ranks of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc, etc. Both of these efforts are more than creditable and create an expectation of great things to come.
It is precisely at the point at which the expectation reaches its zenith, right after the final notes "Stealing My Peace Of Mind", one realises that the high point has been passed. The rest of the album is not made of fillers by any means, her voice is too honeyed and accomplished, although music and production are adequate rather than definitive, to warrant that description of her work. I remain disappointed and unfulfilled by this offering. Rhian Benson's debut set was very much eagerly anticipated. The few tracks that were circulating prior to its release - which turn out to be the highlights of the set - certainly raised the expectations that were close to being realised but which ultimately fails to match this expectation; close but no cigar.
In a soul marketplace that is yearning for the genuine article, and in the absence of much that bears that description, this set upon reflection is not where my recommendations, or my hard-earned cash, would go. I'd rather commend to you the excellent Alicia Keys, "Subject" by Dwele, "Introducing..." by Antoinique, Amp Fiddler, Conya Doss (if you're lucky enough to find it, I heard it was deleted) or "Black Star" by Yah Zarah before suggesting Rhian Benson. This is not to rubbish the beautiful Ms. Benson but rather to highlight how much good music is out there waiting to be discovered.
There is clear potential here so maybe next time will be better for Ms. Benson as was the case with Alicia Keys.
on 29 November 2003
This is excellent.
Rhian Benson is half Welsh and half Ghanaian, which is reflected in her musical style and sets her apart from other great singers like Lauryn Hill and Norah Jones. The album is a mix of really uplifting soulful tracks to sing and dance to as well as songs to relax with. There are some definite hits such as "Say how I feel" and "Stealing my peace of mind", and the song partially in Ghanaian called "Spirit" is gorgeous - with very rich vocals and an African chorus.
I hope she brings something else out soon cos this CD is already getting worn out!!!!!
on 4 August 2004
Rhian's done well with this one. It's very easy to listen to - though it must be said that the stand out tracks like "Stealing My Peace of Mind" and "Say How I feel" are alot better than some of the others but all in all - I'd recommend this album. Good voice, very sexy and frankly it's good to hear an R&B singer/songwriter with real talent. I expect her next album to be even better.
on 29 July 2006
If your only frame of reference is hip/hop then this album is not for you. If you prefer football stadium concerts as opposed to intimate jazz club performances then the album may not be for you either.
But If you love jazz, appreciate someone who can actually sing, and musicians who actually play instruments, then you will love this album. I like all of the songs very much, but my very favorite is "say how I feel". I just wish the CD were an enhanced one that had the video on it. I also really love the song "gold sky".
My other favorites on the album are "stealing my peace of mind", "soul boy","sing to the child", and "shake it away". There really is no need to fast-forward on any song on the CD. I find the album to be perfect for entertaining a very special friend on a special evening.
Listening to Rhian is very soothing for me, and being a woman I very much appreciate the message in her songs. If I am lucky she will come to a city near my community so I can hear a live performance.
I very much look forward to following her career and buying more of her music.