I had been looking forward to buying Ledisi's new album "Pieces Of Me" as her previous effort "Turn Me Loose" was a very upbeat and funky collection of cleverly written songs. I must say that, although this album has a very relaxed feel to it, I am a little disappointed with it as it does not have that much variety, feels quite rushed and is portraying a much more commercial sound.
The title track "Pieces Of Me" is quite promising and uplifting and "So Into You" has a groovy rhythm and bass line, but they both have quite a repetitive melody and are quite safe compared to her previous work. Ledisi lets loose on "Bravo", the highlight of the album, as it is an up tempo and fiery R&B track which allows her to explore her vocal range. Although "Stay Together" is quite a bland and sleepy slow jam, the blend of Ledisi and Jaheim's vocals is simply magical. "Coffee" is a very funky trademark Ledisi track and was released on her "Soulsinger" album 10 years ago, but I do wonder whether including an old song on a new release means that she is running out of inspiration. "Shut Up" has a distinctive Funk influence with a catchy beat and "Shine" and "BGTY" are equally hip and fun, but these tracks will possibly appeal to a younger audience and are not really my cup of tea. "Hate Me" is a suave Blues inspired track with a punchy chorus and "I Miss You" is quite an atmospheric ballad with sophisticated arrangements. "Raise Up" is another highlight as it has an irresistible melody and a funky vibe and "I Gotta Get To You" ends the album in style being another suave slow jam.
The title suggests that it is just pieces of Ledisi and I agree - we do not get to hear the full extent of Ledisi's talent and superb vocal range on this album, we just get glimpses. This is a shame as I thought she had finally found her niche in the raw, edgy and funky music displayed on "Turn Me Loose", but it seems that she may have just settled for being commercially fashionable which, in the case of "Pieces Of Me", does not leave me convinced. Nevertheless, it is a reasonably good album regardless of its flaws.