Monday, 2 February 2009

Aysha - Love Is A Rock - 2006 - KLW Records

A very toothsome album which grows and grows on each play. Aysha has a jazzy angle and the music is in the soulful end of the jazz market, both factors scoring good points with me. This could be a new Isabelle Antena album but with less jazz and more soul. I also detects some deliberateness in the vocals, in a similar way that Regina Belle stresses some words, nuances, and this works well. This 10 tracker can be picked up on iTunes Plus or on good old CD Baby in both hard copy and high quality digital download. Although this is her debut album, Aysha has performed with many of the greats - the most enviable being Roger Troutman and Zapp! What a show that must have been! Years on, Aysha describes her sound as "Adult Urban Contemporary". Whatever it is, it's a style I know that you will appreciate. There are, for me, nine strong cuts on here and all worth a mention.

An obvious no-brainer is the opening effort, "Honey", a synthy effort with jazzy leanings and sexy, sultry vocals a la Isabelle Antena - try it, you'll love it! The sax-driven "Is This Just A Dream" commands respect as does the 80s sounding ballad "Don't Make Me Say Goodbye" - I think this has class and is one of those subtle, yet sneakily dangerous track. Miss this at your peril! I consider this to be the créme de créme. I was even impressed with the cover version of the Sam Dees' penned, Atlantic Starr recorded "Send For Me" which is arranged here by Norman Connors' associate Donald Tavié. OK, nothing can beat the Gerald Alston cover as far as I am concerned, but this is a cracking good show nevertheless. The ballad "Just Can't Let You Go" does the job, but I feel "More Than Any Words" wins over it, reminding me of the quality ballads from the last Meli'sa Morgan album - think "Let You Go" and Bob's yer uncle! An upbeat, saxy end to the show with the Sade-inspired "Kiss Of Life" has me thinking that this would make a good single choice. Whatever the case, "Love Is A Rock" is, joking aside, a solid effort and should add some brightness to your dark and dingy winder days.

Barry Towler,
The Vibe Scribe.

Buy on CD-Baby