Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Chanté Moore - Love The Woman 2008 - Peak

I had lost interest in this Lady for years thanks to a number of dreary street orientated albums for MCA, aimed primarily at college students and younger. This album, though, readdresses this somewhat and although a fair number are somewhat harder R&B based efforts, there are plenty of mature cuts here that should appeal to those like me who loved her first album for Silas back in 1992. Production comes from a staggering EIGHT producers which makes the set a bit like a roller-coaster ride but hang on in there...George Duke, Raphael Saadiq and Jamey Jaz are involved so the quality is there! The opening song, “Always Gonna Be Something” is best described as the best of a bad bunch of R&B jams produced by someone called Warryn 'Baby Dubb' Campbell, and is definitely one for more adult ears. Pity about the others. Producers should recognise where real talent lies, and it is NOT pandering to school kids and MTV. Easy as that. I was interested to see a version of Sara Devine's “Special” which is very true to the original but uses warm keys that owe more to Tony Toni Toné thanks to producer Raphael Saadiq. For a more traditional ballad we have “It Ain't Supposed To Be This Way” which is more appropriate for this beautiful Lady's talents. Her phrasing is very akin to Marva King on here – something that is not bad in my humble opinion!

The wonderful George Duke nails it with the subtle, jazzy and atmospheric “Give Me Time” which really showcases how wonderfully diverse and strong Chanté's vocals are. It takes a REAL producer to bring forth greatness, whereas others simply add some beats and expect the artists to whine from a scripted song. The inclusion of the likes of George Duke sorts the wheat from the chaff. The beat ballad “Do For You” has some lovely 70s flavours, and is urban-styled BUT allows Chanté to vocally shine; after all she is a singer is she not?! However, all the aforementioned producers aside...it is Jamey Jaz that really sets the album on fire! “Love The Woman” is seriously sexy, and should get any red blooded man going! The beat is sensual, the synths haunting and backing vocals sassy and sexy. Jamey adds “Love Action” to the mix and drops in some beautiful harmonies and synth lines. Yes, this is classy and essential stuff for the quiet storm moments! My final choice is the summer samba of “First Kiss”...a lovely song and far superior to the R&B efforts such as “My Eyes” or “Can't Do It”. A welcome return, if not reaching the dizzy heights of “Precious”.

Barry Towler

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