Monday, 23 February 2009

Alisa Ohri - Cuz I Care

Looking at this CD gave me one surprise, hearing it gave me the second. The first was that production, rhodes and backing vocals comes from one of our old 80s heroes - Hubert Eaves, III of D-Train fame - along with (I presume) his son, Hubert Eaves, IV. You would expect that Hubert Junior would be more into the urban street style than good old Dad but mercifully we are wrong! Hence the second surprise. Not only is this CD very soulful there is a real jazzy after taste too, and that is something I can definitely feel positive about. For me and my particular taste, there is but one lacklustre track on it, and the other 8 tracks are simply superb. If you're looking for an encapsulating soulful, jazzy and sassy performer then look no further than Alisa Ohri. Concentrating on romance, love and daily life, Alisa cuts a swathe through all the banal horny and foul-mouthed, talentless teenagers saturating (or, rather, polluting) the market right now. Her path is effortless, and I think that upon hearing you will certainly agree. The opening song, “Cuz I Feel” contains some delicious slap bass and a strident, confident beat. Here, Alisa relates that life is a bitch, but sets out how she deals with it all. Good on yer, girl! Indeed, “We Are Survivin'” sums up how so many of us are living from day to day at the moment. And with Christmas (involuntary shudder!) breathing down our necks with a hot, mince-pie and sherry scented smell I certainly feel the lyrics! Ho ho ho. Turning on a sixpence, the swishing Jazz number “Could It Be” fails to disappoint, and the funkier, slap-bass filled head-nodder, “Just Stay” works well too. The uptempo flute-drenched “Your Smile” is a rather early 90s effort and should auger well on radio. A classy song, is this, and so is the following cut which is my cream cut. “Blue In Green” is, without hesitation, a KILLER. Musically it presses all the right buttons. This hits me like a mid 1980s Leon Ware production – the sort of thing he was doing with Loose Ends at the time. Even the male backing vocals owe much to Loose Ends. I cannot stop playing this track and once the chorus hits you with it's Ware-esque keyboard riffs and melody it's footprint is well and truly imprinted on my heart. Superb. “Miss Ohri Regrets” is a familiar tune and reminisce of 4U's “Never Let Go”. Such a strong album, I would certainly add it to your Christmas wants list!

Barry Towler