Since the release in 1997 of her self-titled debut Adriana Evans has resolutely steered her own course in making music, continuing to work largely with producer Jonathan `Dred' Scott, and producing music quite separate and distinct from that usually awarded the apellation `R&B' or `Urban', or even `Neo-Soul'(a long jettisoned name). If your idea of soul music (to use an often forgotten and abused term) is ear crushing beats and simplistic melodies accompanied by nihilistic rap this album isn't for you. But if you are looking for something less contrived and simpler, where the purity and tone of voice matters, read on.
The tone of the album is set by the gentle opener `Waiting', where Evans' voice clearly moves over a simple, grooving track featuring trumpet, guitar and flugal horn. Fans of her first album will instantly recognise the familiarity of the production sound: simple, spare and incredibly seductive. This continues with `Suddenly', where the voice effortlessly glides over a simple, aching lyric of regret. Other highlights include `Love Me On The One', where the chorus features a beautiful backing counter melody, and the slightly up-tempo `Surrender', which offers a number of interesting possibilities as a future single.
`Astral Projection' is a short and very pretty instrumental, very much in keeping with the album, and `Sooner Or Later' is an old fashioned love song. `Weatherman' (featuring in a 12" mix too) will appeal particularly to fans of Raphael Saadiq's `The Way I See It' project. Indeed listening through the album one is clearly struck by the range of musical references , and all `worn lightly' with little apparent self-regard and stylistic bombast.
So do you buy?
Having emerged with a stunning debut album Evans officially released two further albums (`El Camino' and `Nomadic') which, whilst interesting, did not attain the same quality as her first release. This album returns to the soundscape of the first album, and the uncluttered production values allow Evans' voice the space to `breathe' in an effortless fashion that remains her hallmark, delivered with a beautiful purity of tone. It might not quite reach the heights of `Looking For Your Love', `Say You Won't' or `Love Is All Around' but it gets closer, being more coherent as a body of work than any previous release. Fans will warmly welcome this release, whilst for those jaded by the barrage of `music by numbers' production systems and misguided `urban' stylings, this will offer authentic relief.